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This book is due at the LOUIS R. WILSON LIBRARY on the 
last date stamped under "Date Due." If not on hold it may be 
renewed by bringing it to the library. 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 



By A. CONAN DOYLE, author of 

"The White Company/' "The Sign of the 
Four/' " Micah Clarke" "A Study in 
Scarlet/' Etc 





"If you please, mum, " said the voice of a 
domestic from somewhere round the angle of 
the door, "number three is moving in." 

Two little old ladies, who were sitting at 
either side of a table, sprang to their feet with 
ejaculations of interest, and rushed to the win* 
dow of the sitting-room. 

"Take care, Monica dear," said one, shroud- 
ing herself in the lace curtain; "don't let them 
see us." 

"No, no, Bertha. We must not give them 
reason to say that their neighbors are inquisi- 
tive. But I think that we are safe if we stand 
like this." 

The open window looked out upon a sloping 
lawn, well trimmed and pleasant, with fuzzy 
rosebushes and a star-shaped bed of sweet- 


William. It was bounded by a low wooden 
fence, which screened it off from a broad.mod- 
ern, new metaled road. At the other side of 
this road were three large detached deep-bod- 
ied villas with peaky eaves and small wooden 
balconies, each standing in its own little square 
of grass and of flowers. All three were equally 
new, but numbers one and two were curtained 
and sedate,withahuman, sociable look to them; 
while number three, with yawning door and 
unkempt garden, had apparently only just re- 
ceived its furniture and made itself ready for 
its occupants. A four-wheeler had driven up 
to the gate, and it was at this that the old 
ladies, peeping out bird-like from behind their 
curtains, directed an eager and questioning 

The cabman had descended, and the passen- 
gers within were handing out the articles which 
they desired him to carry up to the house. He 
stood red-faced and blinking, with his crooked 
arms outstretched, while a male hand, protrud- 
ing from the window, kept piling up upon him 
a series of articles the sight of which filled the 
curious old ladies with bewilderment. 

"My goodness me!" cried Monica, the small- 
er, the drier, and the more wizened of the 
pair. "What do you call that, Bertha? It looks 
to me like four batter puddings." 

"Those are what young men box each other 


•^th," said Bertha, with a conscious air of 
superior worldly knowledge. 

"And those?" 

Two great bottle-shaped pieces of yellow 
shining wood had been heaped upon the cab- 

"Oh, I don't know what those are," confessed 
Bertha. Indian clubs had never before ob- 
truded themselves upon her peaceful and very 
feminine existence. 

These mysterious articles were followed, 
however, by others which were more within 
their range of comprehension — by a pair of 
dumb-bells, a purple cricket-bag, a set of golf 
Clubs, and a tennis racket. Finally, when the 
Cabman, all top-heavy and bristling, had stag- 
gered off up the garden path, there emerged 
in a very leisurely way from the cab a big, pow- 
erfully built young man, with a bull pup under 
One arm and a pink sporting paper in his hand. 
The paper he crammed into the pocket of 
his light yellow dust-coat, and extended his 
hand as if to assist some one else from the 
vehicle. To the surprise of the two old ladies, 
however, the only thing which his open palm 
received was a violent slap, and a tall lady 
bounded unassisted out of the cab. With a regal 
wave she motioned the young man towards the 
door, and then with one hand upon her hip 
she stood in a careless, lounging attitude by 


the gate, kicking her toe against the wall and 
listlessly awaiting the return of the driver. 

As she turned slowly round, and the sunshine 
struck upon her face, the two watchers were 
amazed to see that this very active and energetic 
lady was far from being in her first youth, so 
far that she had certainly come of age again 
since she first passed that landmark in life's 
journey. Her finely chiseled, clean-cut face, 
with something red Indian about the firm 
mouth and strongly marked cheek bones, showed 
even at that distance traces of the friction of 
the passing years. And yet she was very 
handsome. Her features were as firm in repose 
as those of a Greek bust, and her great dark 
eyes were arched over by two brows so black, 
so thick, and so delicately curved, that the 
eye turned away from the harsher details of 
the face to marvel at their grace and strength. 
Her figure, too, was straight as a dart, a Hide 
portly, perhaps, but curving into magnificent 
outlines, which were half accentuated by the 
strange costume which she wore. Her hair, 
black but plentifully shot with grey, was brushed 
plainly back from her high forehead, and was 
gathered under a small round felt hat, like that 
of a man, with one sprig of feather in the band 
as a concession to her sex. A double-breasted. 
jacket of some dark frieze-like material fitted 
closely to her figure, while her straight blue 


skirt, untrimmed and ungathered, was cut so 
short that the lower curve of her finely-turned 
legs was plainly visible beneath it, terminating 
in a pair of broad, flat, low-heeled and square- 
toed shoes. Such was the lady who lounged 
at the gate of number three, under the curious 
eyes of her two opposite neighbors 

But if her conduct and appearance had al- 
ready somewhat jarred upon their limited and 
precise sense of the fitness of things, what 
were they to think of the next little act in this 
tableau vivant? The cabman, red and heavy- 
jowled, had come back from his labors, and 
held out his hand for his fare. The lady passed 
him a coin, there was a moment of mumbling 
and gesticulating, and suddenly she had him 
with both hands by the red cravat which girt 
his neck, and was shaking him as a terrier 
would a rat. Right across the pavement she 
thrust him, and, pushing him up against the 
wheel, she banged his head three several times 
against the side of his own vehicle. 

"Can I be of any use to you, aunt?" asked 
the large youth, framing himself in the open 

"Not the slightest," panted the enraged lady. 
"There, you low blackguard, that will teach 
you to be impertinent to a lady. " 

The cabman looked helplessly about him 
with a bewildered, questioning gaze, as one 


to whom alone of all men this unheard-of and 
extraordinary thing had happened. Then, rub- 
bing his head, he mounted slowly on to the 
box, and drove away with an uptossed hand 
appealing to the universe. The lady smoothed 
down her dress, pushed back her hair under 
her little felt hat, and strode in through the 
hall-door, which was closed behind her. As 
with a whisk her short skirts vanished into the 
darkness, the two spectators — Miss Bertha and 
Miss Monica Williams — sat looking at each 
other in speechless amazement. For fifty years 
they had peeped through that little window and 
across that trim garden, but never yet had such 
a sight as this come to confound them. 

"I wish," said Monica at last, "that we had 
kept the field." 

"I am sure I wish we had," answered her 



The cottage from the window of which the 
Misses Williams had looked out stands, and has 
stood for many a year, in that pleasant subur- 
ban district which lies between Norwood, An- 


erley, and Forest Hill. Long before there had 
been a thought of a township there, when the 
Metropolis was still quite a distant thing, old 
Mr. Williams had inhabited "The Brambles," 
as the little house was called, and had owned 
all the fields about it. Six or eight such cot- 
tages scattered over a rolling country-side were 
all the houses to be found there in the days 
when the century was young. From afar, when 
the breeze came from the north, the dull, low 
roar of the great city might be heard, like the 
breaking of the tide of life, while along the 
horizon might be seen the dim curtain of smoke, 
the grim spray which that tide threw up. Grad- 
ually, however, as the vears passed, the City 
had thrown out a long brick-feeler here and 
there, curving, extending, and coalescing, un- 
til at last the little cottages had been gripped 
round by these red tentacles, and had been ab- 
sorbed to make room for the modern villa. 
Field by field the estate of old Mr. Williams 
had been sold to the speculative builder, and 
had borne rich crops of snug suburban dwell- 
ings, arranged in curving crescents and tree- 
lined avenues. The father had passed away 
before his cottage was entirely bricked round, 
but his two daughters, to whom the property 
had descended, lived to see the last vestige of 
country taken from them. For years they had 
dung to the one field which faced their wia- 


dows, and it was only after much argument and 
many heartburnings, that they had at last con- 
sented that it should share the fate of the 
others. A broad road was driven through their 
quiet domain, the quarter was re-named "The 
Wilderness," and three square, staring, uncom- 
promising villas began to sprout up on the 
other side. With sore hearts, the two shy little 
old maids watched their steady progress, and 
speculated as to what fashion of neighbors 
chance would bring into the little nook which 
had always been their own. 

And at last they were all three finished. 
Wooden balconies and overhanging eaves had 
been added to them, so that, in the language 
of the advertisement, there were vacant three 
eligible Swiss-built villas, with sixteen rooms, 
no basement, electric bells, hot and cold water, 
and every modern convenience, including a 
common tennis lawn, to be let at ;£ioo a year, 
or ^£1,500 purchase. So tempting an offer did 
not long remain open. Within a few weeks 
the card had vanished from number one, and 
it was known that Admiral Hay Denver, V. 
C, C. B., with Mrs. Hay Denver and their 
only son, were about to move into it. The 
news brought peace to the hearts of the Wil- 
liams sisters. They had lived with a settled 
conviction that some wild impossible colony, 
6ome shouting, singing family of madcaps, would 


break in upon their peace. This establishment 
at least was irreproachable. A reference to 
"Men of the Time" showed them that Admiral 
Hay Denver was a most distinguished officer, 
who had begun his active career at Bomarsund, 
and had ended it at Alexandria, having man- 
aged between these two episodes to see as 
much service as any man of his years. From 
the Taku Forts and the Shannon brigade, to 
dhow-harrying off Zanzibar, there was no variety 
of naval work which did not appear in his 
record; while the Victoria Cross, and the 
Albert Medal for saving life, vouched for it 
that in peace as in war his courage was still 
of the same true temper. Clearly a very eligible 
neighbor this, the more so as they had been 
confidentially assured by the estate agent that 
Mr. Harold Denver, the son, was a most quiet 
young gentleman, and that he was busy from 
morning to night on the Stock Exchange. 

The Hay Denvers had hardly moved in before 
number two also struck its placard, and again 
the ladies found that they had no reason to be 
discontented with their neighbors. Doctor 
Balthazar Walker was a very well-known name 
in the medical world. Did not his qualifica- 
tions, his membership, and the record of his 
writings fill a long half-column in the "Medical 
Directory," from his first little paper on the 
*' Gouty Diathesis" in 1859 to his exhaustive 


treatise upon "Affections of the Vaso-Motof 
System" in 1884? A successful medical career 
which promised to end in a presidentship of a 
college and a baronetcy, had been cut short by 
his sudden inheritance of a considerable sum 
from a grateful patient, which had rendered 
him independent for life, and had enabled 
him to turn his attention to the more 
scientific part of his profession, which had 
always had a greater charm for him than 
its more practical and commercial aspect. 
To this end he had given up his house 
in Weymouth Street, and had taken this oppor- 
tunity of moving himself, his scientific instru- 
ments, and his two charming daughters (he 
had been a widower for some years) into the 
more peaceful atmosphere of Norwood. 

There was thus but one villa unoccupied, 
and it was no % wonder that the two maiden la< 
dies watched with a keen interest, which deep* 
ened into a dire apprehension, the curious inci- 
dents which heralded the coming of the new 
tenants. They had already learned from the 
agent that the family consisted of two only, 
Mrs. Westmacott, a widow, and her nephew, 
Charles Westmacott. How simple and how 
select it had sounded! Who could have fore- 
seen from it these fearful portents which seemed 
to threaten violence and discord among the 
dwellers in The Wilderness? Again the two old 


maids cried in heartfelt chorus that they wished 
they had not sold their field. 

"Well, at least, Monica," remarked Bertha, 
as they sat over their teacups that afternoon, 
"however strange these people may be, it is 
our duty to be as polite to them as to the 

"Most certainly," acquiesced her sister. 

"Since we have called upon Mrs. Hay Den- 
ver and upon the Misses Walker, we must call 
upon this Mrs. Westmacott ako. " 

"Certainly, dear. As long as they are living 
upon our land I feel as if they were in a sense 
our guests, and that it is our duty to welcome 
them. " 

"Then we shall call to-morrow," said Bertha, 
with decision. 

"Yes, dear, we shall. But, oh, I wish it 
was over!" 

At four o'clock on the next day, the two 
maiden ladies set off upon their hospitable 
errand. In their stiff, crackling dresses of 
black silk, with jet-bespangled jackets, and 
little rows of cylindrical grey curls drooping 
down on either side of their black bonnets, 
they looked like two old fashion plates which 
had wandered off into the wrong decade. Half 
curious and half fearful, they knocked at the 
door of number three, which was instantly 
opened by a red-headed page-boy. 


Yes, Mrs. Westmacott was at home. He 
ushered them into the front room, furnished 
as a drawing-room, where in spite of the fine 
spring weather a large fire was burning in the 
grate. The boy took their cards, and then, as 
they sat down together upon a settee, he set 
their nerves in a thrill by darting behind a cur- 
tain with a shrill cry, and prodding at some- 
thing with his foot. The bull pup which they 
had seen upon the day before bolted from its 
hiding-place, and scuttled snarling from the 

"It wants to get at Eliza, " said the youth, 
in a confidential whisper. "Master says she 
would give him more' n he brought." He smiled 
affably at the two little stiff black figures, and 
departed in search of his mistress. 

"What — what did he say?" gasped Bertha. 

"Something about a Oh, goodness gra- 
cious! Oh, help, help, help, help, help!" The 
two sisters had bounded on to the settee, and 
stood there with staring eyes and skirts gath- 
ered in, while they filled the whole house with 
their yells. Out of a high wicker-work bas- 
ket which stood by the fire there had risen a 
flat diamond-shaped head with wicked green 
eyes which came flickering upwards, waving 
gently from side to side, until a foot or more 
of glossy scaly neck was visible. Slowly the 
vicious head came floating up, while at every 


oscillation a fresh burst of shrieks came from 
the settee. 

"What in the name of mischief!" cried a 
voice, and there was the mistress of the house 
standing in the doorway. Her gaze at first 
had merely taken in the fact that two strangers 
were standing screaming upon her red plush 
sofa. A glance at the fireplace, however, 
showed her the cause of the terror, and she 
burst into a hearty fit of laughter. 

"Charley," she shouted, "here's Eliza misbe- 
having again." 

"I'll settle her," answered a masculine voice, 
and the young man dashed into the room. He 
had a brown horse-cloth in his hand, which he 
threw over the basket, making it fast with a 
piece of twine so as to effectually imprison its 
inmate, while his aunt ran across to reassure 
her visitors. 

"It is only a rock snake, " she explained. • 

"Oh, Bertha!" "Oh, Monica!" gasped the 
poor exhausted gentlewomen. 

"She's hatching out some eggs. That is 
why we have the fire. Eliza always does better 
when she is warm. She is a sweet, gentle crea- 
ture, but no doubt she thought that you had 
designs upon her eggs. I suppose that you did 
not touch any of them?" 

"Oh, let us get away, Bertha!" cried Monica, 
with her thin, black-gloved hands thrown lor* 
wards in abhorrence. 


••Not away, but into the next room, - said 
Mrs. Westmacott, with the air of one whose 
word was law. "This way, if you please 1 It is 
less warm here. " She led the way into a very 
handsomely appointed library, with three great 
cases of books, and upon the fourth side a 
long yellow table littered over with papers and 
scientific instruments. "Sit here, and you, 
there," she continued. "That is right. Now 
let me see, which of you is Miss Williams, and 
which Miss Bertha Williams?" 

"I am Miss Williams," said Monica, still 
palpitating, and glancing furtively about in 
dread of some new horror. 

"And you live, as I understand, over at the 
pretty little cottage. It is very nice of you 
to call so early. I don't suppose that we shall 
get on, but still the intention is equally good." 
She crossed her legs and leaned her back against 
the marble mantelpiece. 

"We thought that perhaps we might be of 
some assistance," said Bertha, timidly. "If 
there is anything which we could do to make 
you feel more at home " 

"Oh, thank you, I am too old a traveler to 
feel anything but at home wherever I go. I've 
just come back from a few months in the Mar- 
quesas Islands, where I had a very pleasant 
visit. That was where I got Eliza. In many 
respects the Marquesas Islands now lead the 


"Dear me!" ejaculated Miss Williams. "Itt 
what respect?" 

"In the relation of the sexes. They have 
worked out the great problem upon their own 
lines, and their isolated geographical position 
has helped them to come to a conclusion of 
their own. The woman there is, as she should 
be, in every way the absolute equal of the male. 
Come in, Charles, and sit down. Is Eliza all 

"All right, aunt." 

"These are our neighbors, the Misses Wil- 
liams. Perhaps they will have some stout. You 
might bring in a couple of bottles, Charles." 

"No, no, thank you! None for us!" cried her 
two visitors, earnestly. 

"No? I am sorry that I have no tea to offer 
you. I look upon the subserviency of woman 
as largely due to her abandoning nutritious 
drinks and invigorating exercises to the male. 
I do neither." She picked up a pair of fifteen- 
pound dumb-bells from beside the fireplace and 
swung them lightly about her head. "You see 
what may be done on stout," said she. 

"But don't you think," the elder Miss Wil- 
liams suggested timidly, "don't you think, Mrs. 

Westmascott, that woman has a mission of her 

The lady of the house dropped hi! dumb* 

bells with a crash upon, the $qqu 


"The old cant!" she cried "The old shib- 
boleth! What is this mission which is reserved 
for woman? All that is humble, that is mean, 
that is soul-killing, that is so contemptible and 
so ill-paid that none other will touch it. All 
that is woman's mission. And who imposed 
these limitations upon her? Who cooped her 
up within this narrow sphere? Was it Provi- 
dence? Was it nature? No, it was the arch en- 
emy. It was man. " 

"Oh, I say, auntie!" drawled her nephew. 

"It was man, Charles. It was you and your 
fellows I say that woman is a c dossal monu- 
ment to the selfishness of man. What is all 
this boasted chivaky — these fine words and 
vague phrases? Where is it when we wish to 
put it to the test? Man in the abstract will do 
anything to help a woman. Of course. How 
does it work when his pocket is touched? 
Where is his chivalry then? Will the doctors 
help her to qualify? will the lawyers help her 
to be called to the bar? will the clergy tolerate 
her in the Church? Oh, it is close your ranks 
then and refer poor woman to her mission ! Her 
mission! To be thankful for coppers and not 
to interfere with the men while they grabble for 
gold, like swine round a trough, that is man's 
reading of the mission of women. You may 
sit there and sneer, Charles, while you look 
upon your victim, but you know is truth, 
every word of it/ 1 


Terrified as they were by this sudden torrent 
of words, the two gentlewomen could not but 
smile at the sight of the fiery, domineering vic- 
tim and the big apologetic representative of 
mankind who sat meekly bearing all the sins 
of his sex. The lady struck a match, whipped 
a cigarette from a case upon the mantelpiece, 
and began to draw the smoke into her lungs. 

"I find it very soothing when my nerves are 
at all ruffled," she explained. "You don't 
smoke? Ah, you miss one of the purest of 
pleasures — pr»e of the few pleasures which are 
without a reaction." 

Miss Williams smoothed out her silken lap. 

"It is a pleasure," she said, with some ap- 
proach to self-assertion, "which Bertha and I 
are rather too old-fashioned to enjoy." 

"No doubt. It would probably make you 
very ill if you attempted it. By the way, I 
hope that you will come to some of our Guild 
meetings. I shall see that tickets are sent you. " 

"Your Guild?" 

"It is not yet formed, but I shall lose no 
time in forming a committee. It is my habit 
to establish a branch of the Emancipation Guild 
wherever I go. There is a Mrs. Sanderson in 
Anerley who is already one of the emancipated, 
so that I have a nucleus. It is only by organ- 
ized resistance, Miss Williams, that we can 
hope to hold our own against the selfish sex. 
Must you go, then?" 


"Yes, we have one or two othejr visits to 
pay," said the elder sister. "You will, I &m 
sure, excuse us. I hope that you will find Nor- 
wood a pleasant residence." 

"All places are to me simply a battle-field," 
she answered, gripping first one and then the 
other with a grip which crumpled up their little 
thin fingers. "The days for work and heajthful 
exercise, the evenings to Browning and high 
discourse, eh, Charles? Good-bye!" She came 
to the door with them, and as they glanced 
back they saw her still standing there with the 
yellow bull pup cuddled up under one forearm, 
and the thin blue reek of her cigarette ascend- 
ing from her lips. 

"Oh, what a dreadful, dreadful woman!" 
whispered sister Bertha, as they hurried down 
the street. "Thank goodness that it is over." 

"But she'll return the visit," answered the 
other. "I think that we had better tell Mary 
that we are not at home." 



How deeply are our destinies influenced by 
the most trifling causes! Had the unknown 
builder who erected and owned these new villas 


contented himself by simply building each with- 
in its own grounds, it is probable that these 
three small groups of people would have re- 
mained hardly conscious of each other's exist" 
ence, and that there would have been no op- 
portunity for that action and reaction which is 
here set forth. But there was a common link 
to bind them together. To single himself out 
from all other Norwood builders the landlord 
had devised and laid out a common lawn tennis 
ground, which stretched behind the houses with 
taut-stretched net, green close-cropped sward, 
and widespread whitewashed lines. Hither in 
search of that hard exercise which is as nec- 
essary as air or food to the English tempera- 
ment, came young Hay Denver when released 
from the toil of the City; hither, too, came 
Dr. Walker and his two fair daughters, Clara 
and Ida, and hither also, champions of the 
lawn, came the short-skirted, muscular widow 
and her athletic nephew. Ere the summer was 
gone they knew each other in this quiet nook 
as they might not have done after years of a 
stiffer and more formal acquaintance. 

And especially to the Admiral and the Doc* 
tor were this closer intimacy and companion- 
ship of value. Each had a void in his life, as 
every man must have who with unexhausted 
strength steps out of the great race, but each 
by his society might help to fill up that of his 


neighbor. It is true that they had not much 
in common, but that is sometimes an aid rather 
than a bar to friendship. Each had been an 
enthusiast in his profession, and had retained all 
his interest in it. The Doctor still read from 
cover to cover his Lancet and his Medical 
Journal, attended all professional gatherings, 
worked himself into an alternate state of exal- 
tation and depression over the results of the 
election of officers, and reserved for himself a 
den of his own, in which before rows of little 
round bottles full of glycerine, Canadian bal- 
sam, and staining agents, he still cut sections 
with a microtome, and peeped through his long, 
brass, old-fashioned microscope at the arcana 
ai nature. With his typical face, clean shaven 
©n lip and chin, with a firm mouth, a strong 
jaw, a steady eye, and two little white fluffs 
Of whiskers, he could never be taken for any- 
thing but what he was, a high-class British 
medical consultant of the age of fiftv or per- 
haps just a year or two older. 

The Doctor, in his hey-day, had been cool 
over great things, but now, in his retirement, 
he was fussy over trifles. The man who had 
operated without the quiver of a finger, when 
not only his patient's life but his own reputa- 
tion and future were at stake, was now shaken to 
the soul by a mislaid book or a careless maid. 
He remarked it himself, and knew the reason, 


"When Mary was alive," he would say, "she 
stood between me and the little troubles. I 
could brace myself for the big ones. My girls 
are as good as girls can be, but who can know 
a man as his wife knows him?" Then his mem- 
ory would conjure up a tuft of brown hair and 
a single white, thin hand over a coverlet, and 
he would feel, as we have all felt, that if we do 
not live and know each other after death, then 
indeed we are tricked and betrayed by all the 
highest hopes and subtlest intuitions of our 

The Doctor had his compensations to make 
up for his loss. The great scales of Fate had 
been held on a level for him; for where in all 
great London could one find two sweeter girls, 
more loving, more intelligent, and more sym- 
pathetic than Clara and Ida Walker? So bright 
were they, so quick, so interested in all which 
interested him, that if it were possible for a 
man to be compensated for the loss of a good 
wife then Balthazar Walker might claim to be 

Clara was tall and thin and supple, with a 
graceful, womanly figure. There was something 
stately and distinguished in her carriage, 
"queenly" her friends called her, while her 
critics described her as reserved and distant. 

Such as it was, however, it was part and par- 
eel of herself, for she was, and had always from 


her childhood been, different from any one around 
her. There was nothing gregarious in her na- 
ture. She thought with her own mind, saw 
with her own eyes, acted from her own impulse. 
Her face was pale, striking rather than pretty, 
but with two great dark eyes, so earnestly ques- 
tioning, so quick in their transitions from joy 
to pathos, so swift in their comment upon every 
word and deed around her, that those eyes alone 
were to many more attractive than all the beauty 
of her younger sister. Hers was a strong, quiet 
soul, and it was her firm hand which had taken 
over the duties of her mother, had ordered the 
house, restrained the servants, comforted her 
father, and upheld her weaker sister, from the 
day of that great misfortune. 

Ida Walker was a hand's breadth smaller than 
Clara, but was a little fuller in the face and 
plumper in the figure. She had light yellow 
hair, mischievous blue eyes with the light of 
humor ever twinkling in their depths, and a 
large, perfectly formed mouth, with that slight 
Upward curve of the corners which goes with 
a keen appreciation of fun, suggesting even in 
repose that a latent smile is ever lurking at the 
edges of the lips. She was modern to the soles 
of her dainty little high-heeled shoes, frankly 
fond of dress and of pleasure, devoted to tennis 
and to comic opera, delighted with a dance, 
which came her way only too eeldom, longing 


ever for some new excitement, and yet behind 
all this lighter side of her character a thoroughly 
good, healthy-minded English girl, the life and 
soul of the house, and the idol of her sister 
and her father. Such was the family at number 
two. A peep into the remaining villa and our 
introductions are complete. 

Admiral Hay Denver did not belong to the 
florid, white-haired, hearty school of sea-dogs 
which is more common in works of fiction than 
in the Navy List. On the contrary, he was 
the representative of a much more common 
type which is the antithesis of the conventional 
sailor. He was a thin, hard-featured man, 
with an ascetic, acquiline cast of face, grizzled 
and hollow-cheeked, clean-shaven with the ex- 
ception of the tiniest curved promontory of ash- 
colored whisker. An observer, accustomed to 
classify men, might have put him down as a 
canon of the church with a taste for lay costume 
and a country life, or as the master of a large 
public school, who joined his scholars in their 
outdoor sports. His lips were firm, his chin 
prominent, he had a hard, dry eye, and his 
manner was precise and formal. Forty years 
of stern discipline had made him reserved and 
silent. Yet, when at his ease with an equal, 
he could readily assume a less quarter-deck 
style, and he had a fund of little, dry stories of 
the world and its ways which were of interest 


from one who had seen so many phases of life. 
Dry and spare, as lean as a jockey and as tough 
as whipcord, he might be seen any day swing- 
ing his silver-headed Malacca cane, and pacing 
along the suburban roads with the same meas- 
ured gait with which he had been wont to 
tread the poop of his flagship. He wore a 
good service stripe upon his cheek, for on one 
side it was pitted and scarred where a spurt of 
gravel knocked up by a round-shot had struck 
him thirty years before, when he served in the 
Lancaster gun-battery. Yet he was hale and 
sound, and though he was fifteen years senior 
to his friend the Doctor, he might have passed 
as the younger man. 

Mrs. Hay Denver's life had been a very 
broken one, and her record upon land represent- 
ed a greater amount of endurance and self-sac- 
rifice than his upon the sea. They had been 
together for four months after their marriage, 
and then had come a hiatus of four years, 
during which he was flitting about between St. 
Helena and the Oil Rivers in a gunboat. Then 
came a blessed year of peace and domesticity, 
to be followed by nine years, with only a three 
months' break, five upon the Pacific station, 
and four on the East Indian. After that was a 
respite in the shape of fi¥e years in the Chan- 
nel squadron, with periodical runs home, and 
then again he was off to the Mediterranean for 


three years and to Halifax for four. Now, at 
last, however, this old married couple, who 
were still almost strangers to one another, had 
come together in Norwood, where, if their 
short day had been chequered and broken, the 
evening at least promised to be sweet and mel- 
low. In person Mrs. Hay Denver was tall and 
stout, with a bright, round, ruddy-cheeked face 
still pretty, with a gracious, matronly comeli- 
ness. Her whole life was a round of devotion 
and of love, which was divided between her 
husband and her only son, Harold. 

This son it was who kept them in the neigh- 
borhood of London, for the Admiral was as 
fond of ships and of salt water as ever, and 
was as happy in the sheets of a two-ton yacht 
as on the bridge of his sixteen-knot monitor. 
Had he been untied, the Devonshire or Hamp- 
shire coast would certainly have been his choice. 
There was Harold, however, and Harold's in- 
terests were their chief care. Harold was four- 
and-twenty now. Three years before he had been 
taken in hand by an acquaintance of his fath- 
er's, the head of a considerable firm of stock- 
brokers, and fairly launched upon 'Change. 
His three hundred guinea entrance fee paid, 
his three sureties of five hundred pounds each 
found, his name approved by the Committee, 
and all other formalities complied with, he 
found himself whirling round, an insignificant 


unit, in the vortex of the money market of the 
world. There, under the guidance of his father's 
friend, he was instructed in the mysteries of 
bulling and of bearing, in the strange usages 
of 'Change in the intricacies of carrying over 
and of transferring. He learned to know where 
to place his clients' money, which of the job- 
bers would make a price in New Zealands, and 
which would touch nothing but American rails, 
which might be trusted and which shunned. 
All this, and much more, he mastered, and to 
such purpose that he soon began to prosper, to 
retain the clients who had been recommended 
to him, and to attract fresh ones. But the work 
was never congenial. He had inherited from 
his father his love of the air of heaven, his 
affection for a manly and natural existence. To 
act as middleman between the pursuer of 
wealth, and the wealth which he pursued, or 
to stand as a human barometer, registering the 
rise and fall of the great mammon pressure in 
the markets, was not the work for which Prov- 
idence had placed those broad shoulders and 
strong limbs upon his well knit frame. His 
dark open face, too, with his straight Grecian 
nose, well opened brown eyes, and round black- 
curled head, were all those of a man who was 
fashioned for active physical work. Meanwhile 
he was popular with his fellow brokers, respect- 
ed by his clients, and beloved at home 9 but his 


spirit was restless within him and his mind chafed 
unceasingly against his surroundings. 

"Do you know, Willy," said Mrs. Hay Den- 
ver one evening as she stood behind her hus- 
band's chair, with her hand upon his shoulder, 
"I think sometimes that Harold is not quite 

"He looks happy, the young rascal," an- 
swered the Admiral, pointing with his cigar. It 
was after dinner, and through the open French 
window of the dining-room a clear view was 
to be had of the tennis court and the players. 
A set had just been finished, and young Charles 
Westmacott was hitting up the balls as high 
as he could send them in the middle of the 
ground. Doctor Walker and Mrs. Westmacott 
were pacing up and down the lawn, the lady 
waving her racket as she emphasized her re- 
marks, and the Doctor listening with slanting 
head and little nods of agreement. Against 
the rails at the near end Harold was leaning in 
his flannels talking to the two sisters, who 
stood listening to him with their long dark 
shadows streaming down the lawn behind them. 
The girls were dressed alike in dark skirts, 
with light pink tennis blouses and pink bands 
on their straw hats, so that as they stood with 
the soft red of the setting sun tinging their 
faces, Clara, demure and quiet, Ida, mischiev- 
ous and daring, it was a group which might 


have pleased the eye of a more exacting critic 

than the old sailor. 

"Yes, he looks happy, mother," he repeated, 
with a chuckle. "It is not so long ago since 
it was you and I who were standing like that, 
and I don* t remember that we were very unhap- 
py either. It was croquet in our time, and the 
ladies had not reefed in their skirts quite s© 
taut. What year would it be? Just before the 
commission of the Penelope. " 

Mrs. Hay Denver ran her fingers through his 
grizzled hair. "It was when you came back 
in the Antelope, just before you got your step." 

"Ah, the old Antelope! What a clipper she 
was! She could sail two points nearer the 
wind than anything of her tonnage in the ser- 
vice. You remember her, mother. You saw 
her come into Plymouth Bay. Wasn't she a 

"She was indeed, dear. But when I say that 
I think that Harold is not happy I mean in his 
daily life. Has it never struck you how thought- 
ful he is at times, and how absent-minded?" 

"In love perhaps, the young dog. He seems 
to have found snug moorings now at any rate. " 

"I think that it is very likely that you are 
right, Willy," answered the mother seriously. 

"But with which of them?" 

"I cannot tell." 

"Well, they are very charming girls, both of 


them. But as long as he hangs in the wind 
between the two it cannot be serious. After 
all, the boy is four-and-twenty, and he made 
five hundred pounds last year. He is better 
able to marry than I was when I was lieuten- 

"I think that, we can see which it is now," 
remarked the observant mother. Charles West- 
macott had ceased to knock the tennis balls 
about, and was chatting with Clara Walker, 
while Ida and Harold Denver were still talk- 
ing by the railing with little outbursts of laugh- 
ter. Presently a fresh set was formed, and 
Doctor Walker, the odd man out, came through 
the wicket gate and strolled up the garden 

"Good evening, Mrs. Hay Denver," said he, 
raising his broad straw hat. "May I come in?" 

"Good evening, Doctor! Pray do!" 

"Try one of these," said the Admiral, hold* 
ing out his cigar-case. "They are not bad. I 
got them on the Mosquito Coast. I was think- 
ing of signaling to you, but you seemed s© 
Very happy out there." 

"Mrs. Westmacott is a very clever woman," 
said the Doctor, lighting the cigar. "By the 
way, you spoke about the Mosquito Coast just 
now. Did you see much of the Hyla when you 
were out there?" 

"No such name on the list," answered the 


seaman, with decision. "There's the Hydra, a 
harbor defense turret-ship, but she never leaves 
the home waters." 

The Doctor laughed. "We live in two sep- 
arate worlds," said he. "The Hyla is the little 
green tree frog, and Beale has founded some 
of his views on protoplasm upon the appear- 
ances of its nerve cells. It is a subject in 
which I take an interest." 

"There were vermin of all sorts in the woods. 
When I have been on river service I have heard 
it at night like the engine-room when you are 
on the measured mile. You can't sleep for the 
piping, and croaking, and chirping. Great 
Scott! what a woman that is! She was across 
the lawn in three jumps. She would have made 
a captain of the foretop in the old days." 

"She is a very remarkable woman." 

"A very cranky one." 

"A very sensible one in some things," re- 
marked Mrs. Hay Denver. 

"Look at that now!" cried the Admiral, with 
a lunge of his forefinger at the Doctor. "You 
mark my words, Walker, if we don't look out 
that woman will raise a mutiny with her preach- 
ing. Here's my wife disaffected already, and 
your girls will be no better. We must combing 
man, or there's an end of all discipline." 

"No doubt she is a little excessive in hev 
views," said the Doctor, "but in the main J 
think as she does, " 


"Bravo, Doctor!" cried the lady. 

"What, turned traitor to your sex! We'll 
court-martial you as a deserter." 

"She is quite right. The professions are not 
sufficiently open to women. They are still far 
too much circumscribed in their employments. 
They are a feeble folk, the women who have 
to work for their bread — poor, unorganized, 
timid, taking as a favor what they might de- 
mand as a right. That is why their case is not 
more constantly before the public, for if their 
cry for redress was as great as their grievance 
it would fill the world to the exclusion of all 
others. It is all very well for us to be courteous 
to the rich, the refined, those to whom life is 
already made easy. It is a mere form, a trick 
of manner. If we are truly courteous, we shall 
stoop to lift up struggling womanhood when 
she really needs our help — when it is life and 
death to her whether she has it or not. And 
then to cant about it being unwomanly to work 
in the higher professions. It is womanly enough 
to starve, but unwomanly to use the brains 
which God has given them. Is it not a mon- 
strous contention?" 

The Admiral chuckled. "You are like one 
of these phonographs, Walker," said he; "you 
have had all this talked into you, and now yoM 
are reeling it off again. It's rank mutiny, every 
word of it, for man has his duties and womas 


has hers, but they are as separate as their na* 
tures are. I suppose that we shall have a 
woman hoisting her pennant on the flagship 
presently, and taking command of the Channel 
Squadron. " 

"Well, you have a woman on the throne tak- 
ing command of the whole nation," remarked 
his wife; "and everybody is agreed that she 
does it better than any of the men." 

The Admiral was somewhat staggered by th is 
home- thrust. "That's quite another thing," 
said he. 

"You should come to their next meeting. I 
am to take the chair. I have just promised 
Mrs. Westmacott that I will do so. But it has 
turned chilly, and it is time that the girls were 
indoors. Good night! I shall look out for 
you after breakfast for our constitutional, Ad- 
miral. " 

The old sailor looked after his friend with a 
twinkle in his eyes. 

"How old is he, mother?" 

"About fifty, I think." 

"And Mrs. Westmacott?" 

"I heard that she was forty- three. " 

The Admiral rubbed his hands, and shook 
with amusement. "We'll find one of these days 
that three and two make one," said he. "I'll 
bet you a new bonnet on it, mother. " 


A sister's secret. 

"Tell me, Miss Walker! You know how 
things should be. What would you say was a 
good profession for a young man of twenty-six 
who has had no education worth speaking 
about, and who is not very quick by nature?" 
The speaker was Charles Westmacott, and the 
time this same summer evening in the tennis 
ground, though the shadows had fallen now 
and the game been abandoned. 

The girl glanced up at him, amused and sur- 

"Do you mean yourself?" 


"But how could I tell?" 

M I have no one to advise me. I believe that 
you could do it better than any one. I feel 
confidence in your opinion." 

"It is very flattering." She glanced up again 
at his earnest, questioning face, with its Sax- 
on eyes and drooping flaxen mustache, in some 
doubt as to whether he might be joking. On 
the contrary, all his attention seemed to be 
concentrated upon her answer. 

"It depends so much upon what you can do, 


you know. I do not know you sufficiently to 
be able to say what natural gifts you have." 
They were walking slowly across the lawn in 
the direction of the house. 

"I have none. That is to say none worth 
mentioning. I have no memory and I am very 
slow. " 

"But you are very strong." 

"Oh, if that goes for anything. I can put 
up a hundred-pound bar till further orders; but 
what sort of a calling is that?" 

Some little joke about being called to the bar 
flickered up in Miss Walker's mind, but her 
companion was in such obvious earnest that 
she stifled down her inclination to laugh. 

"I can do a mile on the cinder-track in 4:50 
and across-country in 5:20, but how is that to 
help me? I might be a cricket professional, 
but it is not a very dignified position. Not that 
I care a straw about dignity, you know^ but I 
should not like to hurt the old lady's feelings." 

"Your aunt's?" 

"Yes, my aunt's. My parents were killed in 
the Mutiny, you know, when I was a baby, and 
she has looked after me ever since. She has 
been very good to me. I'm sorry to leave her." 

"But why should you leave her?" They had 
reached the garden gate, and the girl leaned 
her racket upon the top of it, looking up with 
grave interest at her big ^vhite-flanneled com- 


"It's Browning," said he. 


"Don't tell my aunt that I said it M — he sank 
his voice to a whisper — "I hate Browning." 

Clara Walker rippled off into such a merry 
peal of laughter that he forgot the evil things 
which he had suffered from the poet, and 
burst out laughing too. 

"I can't make him out," said he. "I try, but 
he is one too many. No doubt it is very 
stupid of me; I don't deny it. But as long as 
I cannot there is no use pretending that I can. 
And then of course she feels hurt, for she is 
very fond of him, and likes to read him aloud 
in the evenings. She is reading a piece now, 
'Pippa Passes,' and I assure you, Miss Walker, 
that I don't even know what the title means. 
You must think me a dreadful fool. " 

"But surely he is not so incomprehensible as 
all that?" she said, as an attempt at encour- 

"He is very bad. There are some things, 
you know, which are fine. That ride of the 
three Dutchmen, and Herve Riel and others, 
they are all right. But there was a piece we 
read last week. The first line stumped my aunt, 
and it takes a good deal to do that, for she 
rides very straight. 'Setebos and Setebos and 
Setebos. ' That was the line.' % 

"It sounds like a charm.' 1 


"No, it is a gentleman's name. Three gen- 
tlemen, I thought, at first, but my aunt says 
one. Then he goes on, 'Thinketh he dwelleth 
in the light of the moon.' It was a very try- 
ing piece." 

Clara Walker laughed again. 

"You must not think of leaving your aunt," 
she said. "Think how lonely she would be 
without you." 

"Well, yes, I have thought of that. But you 
must remember that my aunt is to all intents 
hardly middle-aged, and a very eligible person. 
1 don't think that her dislike to mankind ex- 
tends to individuals. She might form new ties, 
and then I should be a third wheel in the coach. 
It was all very well as long as I was only a 
boy, when her first husband was alive." 

"But, good gracious, you don't mean that 
Mrs. Westmacott is going to marry again?" 
gasped Clara. 

The young man glanced down at her with a 
question in his eyes "Oh, it is only a remote 
possibility, you know," said he. "Still, of 
course, it might happen, and I should like 
to know what I ought to turn my hand to." 

"I wish I could help you," said Clara. "But 
1 really know very little about such things. 
However, I could talk to my father, who knows 
a very great deal of the world." 

"I wish you would* I should be so glad ii 
you would." 


"Then I certainly will. And now I must say 
good-night, Mr. Westmacott, for papa will be 
wondering where I am. " 

"Good night, Miss Walker." He pulled off 
his flannel cap, and stalked away through the 
gathering darkness. 

Clara had imagined that they had been the 
last on the lawn, but, looking back from the 
steps which led up to the French windows, she 
saw two dark figures moving across towards 
the house. As they came nearer she could dis- 
tinguish that they were Harold Denver and her 
sister Ida. The murmur of their voices rose 
up to her ears, and then the musical little 
child-like laugh which she knew so well. "I 
am so delighted," she heard her sister say. 
"So pleased and proud. I had no idea of it. 
Your words were such a surprise and a joy to 
me. Oh, I am so glad." 

"Is that you, Ida?" 

"Oh, there is Clara. I must go in, Mr. 
Denver. Good-night!" 

There were a few whispered words, a laugh 
from Ida, and a "Good-night, Miss Walker," 
out of the darkness. Clara took her sister's 
hand, and they passed together through the 
long folding window. The Doctor had gone 
into his study, and the dining-room was empty. 
A single small red lamp upon the sideboard 
was reflected tenfold by the plate about it and 


the mahogany beneath it, though its single 
wick cast but a feeble light into the large, dimly 
shadowed room. Ida danced off to the big 
central lamp, but Clara put her hand upon her 
arm. "I rather like this quiet light," said she. 
"Why should we not have a chat?" She sat 
in the Doctor's large red plush chair, and her 
sister cuddled down upon the footstool at her 
feet, glancing up at her elder with a smile upon 
her lips and a mischievous gleam in her eyes. 
There was a shade of anxiety in Clara's face, 
which cleared away as she gazed into her sis- 
ter's frank blue eyes. 

"Have you anything to tell me, dear?" she 

Ida gave a little pout and shrug to her 
shoulder. "The Solicitor-General then opened 
the case for the prosecution," said she. "You 
are going to cross-examine me, Clara, so don't 
deny it. I do wish you would have that grey 
satin foulard of yours done up. With a little 
trimming and a new white vest it would look 
as good as new, and it is really very dowdy. " 

"You were quite late upon the lawn," said 
the inexorable Clara. 

"Yes, I was rather. So were you. Have you 
anything to tell me?" She broke away into her 
merry musical laugh. 

"I was chatting with Mr. Westmacott." 

"And I was chatting with Mr. Denver. By 


the way, Clara, now tell me truly, what do you 
think of Mr. Denver? Do you like him? Hon- 
estly now!" 

"I like him very much indeed. I think that 
he is one of the most gentlemanly, modest, manly 
young men that I have ever known. So now, 
dear, have you nothing to tell me?" Clara 
smoothed down her sister's golden hair with a 
motherly gesture, and stooped her face to catch 
the expected confidence. She could wish noth- 
ing better than that Ida should be the wife of 
Harold Denver, and from the words which she 
had overheard as they left the lawn that even- 
ing, she could not doubt that there was some 
understanding between them. 

But there came no confession from Ida. 
Only the same mischievous smile and amused 
gleam in her deep blue eyes. 

"That grey foulard dress " she began. 

"Oh, you little tease! Come now, I will ask 
you what you have just asked me. Do you like 
Harold Denver?" 

"Oh, he's a darling!" 


"Well, you asked me. That's what I think 
of him. And now, you dear old inquisitive, 
you will get nothing more out of me; so you 
must wait and not be too curious. I'm going 
off to see what papa is doing." She sprang to 
her feet, threw her arms round her sister's 


neck, gave her a final squeeze, and was gone. 
A chorus from Olivette, sung in her clear con- 
tralto, grew fainter and fainter until it ended 
in the slam of a distant door. 

But Clara Walker still sat in the dim-lit room 
with her chin upon her hands, and her dreamy 
eyes looking out into the gathering gloom. It 
was the duty of her, a maiden, to play the part 
of a mother — to guide another in paths which 
her own steps had not yet trodden. Since her 
mother died not a thought had been given to 
herself, all was for her father and her. sister. 
In her own eyes she was herself very plain, 
and she knew that her manner was often un- 
gracious when she would most wish to be gra- 
cious. She saw her face as the glass reflected 
it, but she did not see the changing play of ex- 
pression which gave it its charm — the infinite 
pity, the sympathy, the sweet womanliness 
which drew towards her all who were in doubt 
and in trouble, even as poor slow-moving 
Charles Westmacott had been drawn to her 
that night. She was herself, she thought, out- 
side the pale of love. But it was very differ- 
ent with Ida, merry, little, quick-witted, bright- 
faced Ida. She was born for love. It was her 
inheritance. But she was young and innocent. 
She must not be allowed to venture too far 
without help in those dangerous waters. Some 
Understanding there was between her and Har- 


old Denver. In her heart of hearts Clara, like 
every good woman, was a match-maker, and 
already she had chosen Denver of all men as 
the one to whom she could most safely confide 
Ida. He had talked to her more than once on 
the serious topics of life, on his aspirations, 
on what a man could do to leave the world 
better for his presence. She knew that he was 
a man of a noble nature, high-minded and 
earnest. And yet she did not like this secrecy, 
this disinclination upon the part of one so 
frank and honest as Ida to tell her what was 
passing. She would wait, and if she got the 
opportunity next day she would lead Harold 
Denver himself on to this topic. It was possi- 
ble that she might learn from him what her 
sister had refused to tell her. 



It was the habit of the Doctor and the Ad- 
miral to accompany each other upon a morning 
ramble between breakfast and lunch. The 
dwellers in those quiet tree-lined roads were ac- 
customed to see the two figures, the long, thin, 
austere seaman* and the short, bustling, tweed* 


clad physician, pass and repass with such reg- 
ularity that a stopped clock has been reset by 
them. The Admiral took two steps to his com- 
panion's three, but the younger man was the 
quicker, and both were equal to a good four 
and a half miles an hour. 

It was a lovely summer day which followed 
the events which have been described. The 
sky was of the deepest blue, with a few white, 
fleecy clouds drifting lazily across it, and the 
air was filled with the low drone of insects or 
with a sudden sharper note as bee or bluefly 
shot past with its quivering, long-drawn hum, 
like an insect tuning-fork. As the friends 
topped each rise which leads up to the Crystal 
Palace, they could see the dun clouds of Lon- 
don stretching along the northern sky-line, with 
spire or dome breaking through the low-lying 
haze. The Admiral was in high spirits, for the 
morning post had brought good news to his 

"It is wonderful, Walker," he was saying, 
"positively wonderful, the way that boy of mine 
has gone ahead during the last three years; 
We heard from Pearson to-day. Pearson is the 
senior partner, you know, and my boy the jun- 
ior — Pearson and Denver the firm. Cunning old 
dog is Pearson, as cute and as greedy as a Rio 
shark. Yet he goes off for a fortnight's leave, 
and puts my boy in full charge, with all that 


immense business in his hands, and a freehand 
to do what he likes with it. How's that for 
confidence, and he only three years upon 

"Any one would confide in him. His face 
is a surety," said the Doctor. 

"Go on, Walker!" The Admiral dug his 
elbow at him. "You know my weak side. Still 
it's truth all the same. I've been blessed with 
a good wife and a good son, and maybe I 
relish them the more for having been cut off 
from them so long. I have much to be thank- 
ful for!" 

"And so have I. The best two girls that ever 
stepped. There's Clara, who has learned up 
as much medicine as would give her the 
L.S.A., simply in order that she may sympa- 
thize with me in my work. But hullo, what is 
this coming along?" 

"All drawing and the .wind astern!" cried the 
Admiral. "Fourteen knots if it's one. Why, by 
George, it is that woman!" 

A rolling cloud of yellow dust had streamed 
round the curve of the road, and from the heart 
of it had emerged a high tandem tricycle flying 
along at a breakneck pace. In front sat Mrs. 
Westmacott clad in a heather tweed pea-jacket, 
a skirt which jus* passed her knees and a pair 
of thick gaiters of the same material. She had 
a great bundle of red papers under her arm, 


while Charles, who sat behind her clad in Nor- 
folk jacket and knickerbockers, bore a similar 
roll protruding from either pocket. Even as 
they watched, the pair eased up, the lady 
sprang off, impaled one of her bills upon the 
garden railing of an empty house, and then 
jumping on to her seat again was about to hurry 
onwards when her nephew drew her attention 
to the two gentlemen upon the footpath. 

"Oh, now, really I didn't notice you," said 
she, taking a few turns of the treadle and steer- 
ing the machine across to them. "Is it not a 
beautiful morning?" 

"Lovely," answered the Doctor. "You seem 
to be very busy." 

"I am very busy. "She pointed to the colored 
paper which still fluttered from the railing. 
"We have been pushing our propaganda, you 
see. Charles and I have been at it since seven 
o'clock. It is about our meeting. I wish it 
to be a great success. See!" She smoothed 
out one of the bills, and the Doctor read his 
own name in great black letters across the 

"We don't forget our chairman, you see. 
Everybody is coming. Those two dear little 
old maids opposite, the Williamses, held out 
for some time; but I have their promise now. 
Admiral, I am sure that you wish us well." 

"Hum! I wish you no harm, ma'am. 11 

"You will come on the platform?" 


"I'll be No, I don't think I can do 


"To our meeting, then?" 

"No, ma'am; I don't go out after dinner." 

"Oh yes, you will come. I will call in if I 
may, and chat it over with you when you come 
home. We have not breakfasted yet. Good- 
bye!" There was a whir of wheels, and the 
yellow cloud rolled away down the road again. 
By some legerdemain the Admiral found that 
he was clutching in his right hand one of the 
obnoxious bills. He crumpled it up, and threw 
it into the roadway. 

"I'll be hanged if I go, Walker," said he, as 
he resumed his walk. "I've never been hustled 
into doing a thing yet, whether by woman or 
man. " 

"I am not a betting man, " answered the Doc- 
tor, "but I rather think that the odds are in 
favor of your going. " 

The Admiral had hardly got home, and had 
just seated himself in his dining-room, when 
the attack upon him was renewed. He was 
slowly and lovingly unfolding the Times pre- 
paratory to the long read which led up to 
luncheon, and had even got so far as to fasten 
his golden pince-nez on to his thin,high-bridged 
nose, when he heard a crunching of gravel, 
and, looking over the top of his paper, saw 
Mrs. Westmacott coming up the garden walk. 


She was still dressed in the singular costume 
which offended the sailor's old-fashioned notions 
of propriety, but he could not deny, as he looked 
at her, that she was a very fine woman. In 
many climes he had looked upon women of all 
shades and ages, but never upon a more clear- 
cut, handsome face, nor a more erect, supple, 
and womanly figure. He ceased to glower as 
he gazed upon her, and the frown smoothed 
away from his rugged brow. 

"May I come in?" said she, framing herself 
in the open window, with a background of 
green sward and blue sky. "I feel like an in- 
vader deep in an enemy's country." 

"It is a very welcome invasion, ma'am," said 
he, clearing his throat and pulling at his high 
collar. "Try this garden chair. What is there 
that I can do for you? Shall I ring and let 
Mrs. Denver know that you are here?" 

"Pray do not trouble, Admiral. I only looked 
in with reference to our little chat this morn- 
ing. I wish that you would give us your pow- 
erful support at our coming meeting for the in> 
provement of the condition of woman." 

"No, ma'am, I can't do that." He pursed 
lip his lips and shook his grizzled head. 

"And why not?" 

"Against my principles, ma'am." 

"But why?" 

^Because woman has her duties and man has 


his. I may be old-fashioned, but that is my 
view. Why, what is the world coming to? I 
was saying to Dr. Walker only last night that 
we shall have a woman wanting to command 
the Channel Fleet next." 

"That is one of the few professions which 
cannot be improved," said Mrs. Westmacott, 
with her sweetest smile. "Poor woman must 
still look to man for protection." 

"I don't like these new-fangled ideas, ma'am. 
I tell you honestly that I don't. I like disci- 
pline, and I think every one is the better for 
it. Women have got a great deal which they 
had not in the days of our fathers. They 
have universities all for themselves, I am told, 
and there are women doctors, I hear. Surely 
they should rest contented. What more can 
they want?" 

"You are a sailor, and sailors are always chiv- 
alrous. If you could see how things really are, 
you would change your opinion What are the 
poor things to do? There are so many of them 
and so few things to which they can turn theil 
hands. Governesses? But there are hardly 
any situations. Music and drawing? There 
is not one in fifty who has any special talent 
in that direction. Medicine? It is still sur- 
rounded with difficulties for women, and it 
takes many years and a small fortune to qualify. 
Nursing? It is hard work ill paid, and nous 


but the strongest can stand it. What would 
you have them do then, Admiral? Sit down 
and starve?" 

"Tut, tut! It is not so bad as that." 
"The pressure is terrible. Advertise for a 
lady companion at ten shillings a week, which 
is less than a cook's wage, and see how many 
answers you get. There is no hope, no out- 
look, for these struggling thousands. Life is a 
dull, sordid struggle, leading down to a cheer- 
less old age. Yet when we try to bring some 
little ray of hope, some chance, however dis- 
tant, of something better, we are told by chiv- 
alrous gentlemen that it is against their prin- 
ciples to help." 

The Admiral winced, but shook his head in 

"There is banking, the law, veterinary sur- 
gery, government offices, the civil service, all 
these at least should be thrown freely open to 
women, if they have brains enough to compete 
successfully for them. Then if woman were 
unsuccessful it would be her own fault, and 
the majority of the population of this country 
could no longer complain that they live under 
a different law to the minority, and that they 
are held down in poverty and serfdom, with 
every road to independence sealed to them." 
"What would you propose to do, ma'am?" 
"To set the more obvious injustices right, 


and so to pave the way for a reform. Now 
look at that man digging in the field. I know 
him. He can neither read nor write, he is 
steeped in whisky, and he has as much intelli- 
gence as the potatoes that he is digging. Yet 
the man has a vote, can possibly turn the scale 
of an election, and may help to decide the pol- 
icy of this empire. Now, to take the nearest 
example, here am I, a woman who have had 
some education, who have traveled, and who 
have seen and studied the institutions of many 
countries. I hold considerable property, and 
I pay more in imperial taxes than that man 
spends in whisky, which is saying a great 
deal, and yet I have no more direct influence 
Upon the disposal of the money which I pay 
than that fly which creeps along the wall. Is 
that right? Is it fair?" 

The Admiral moved uneasily in his chair. 
"Yours is an exceptional case," said he. 

"But no woman has a voice. Consider that 
the women are a majority in the nation. Yet 
if there was a question of legislation upon 
which all women were agreed upon one side 
and all the men upon the other, it would ap- 
pear that the matter was settled unanimously 
when more than half the population were op- 
posed to it. Is that right?" 

Again the Admiral wriggled. It was very 
awkward lor the gallant seaoaaa to have a 


handsome woman opposite to him, bombard- 
ing him with questions to none of which he 
could find an answer. "Couldn't even get the 
tompions out of his guns," as he explained 
the matter to the Doctor that evening. 

"Now those are really the points that we 
shall lay stress upon at the meeting. The free 
and complete opening of the professions, the 
final abolition of the zenana I call it, and the 
franchise to all women who pay Queen's taxes 
above a certain sum. Surely there is nothing 
unreasonable in that. Nothing which could 
offend your principles. We shall have medi- 
cine, law, and the church all rallying that night 
for the protection of woman. Is the navy to 
be the one profession absent?" 

The Admiral jumped out of his chair with an 
evil word in his throat. "There, there, ma'am," 
he cried. "Drop it for a time. I have heard 
enough. You've turned me a point or two. I 
won't deny it. But let it stand at that. I will 
think it over." 

"Certainly, Admiral. We would not hurry 
you in your decision. But we still hope to see 
you on our platform." She rose and moved 
about in her lounging masculine fashion from 
one picture to another, for the walls were 
thickly covered with reminiscences of the Ad- 
miral's voyages. 

"Hullo!" said she. "Surely this ship would 


have furled all her lower canvas and reefed her 
topsails if she found herself on a lee shore 
with the wind on her quarter." 

"Of course she would. The artist was never 
past Gravesend, I swear. It's the Penelope as 
she was on the 14th of June, 1857, in the throat 
of the Straits of Banca,with the Island of Ban- 
ca on the starboard bow, and Sumatra on the 
port. He painted it from description, but of 
course, as you very sensibly say, all was snug 
below and she carried storm sails and double- 
reefed topsails, for it was blowing a cyclone 
from the sou' east. I compliment you, ma'am, 
I do indeed!" 

"Oh, I have done a little sailoring myself — 
as much as a woman can aspire to, you 
know. This is the Bay of Funchal. What a 
lovely frigate ! " 

"Lovely, you say! Ah, she was lovely! That 
is the Andromeda. I was a mate aboard of her 
— sub-lieutenant they call it now, though I like 
the old name best." 

"What a lovely rake her masts have, and 
what a curve to her bows! She must have been 
a clipper." 

The old sailor rubbed his hands and his eyes 
glistened. His old ships bordered close upon 
his wife and his son in his affections. 

"I know Funchal," said the lady carelessly. 
"A couple of years ago I had a sevea-toa 


cutter-rigged yacht, the Bamhee, and we ran over 
to Madeira from Falmouth." 

"You, ma'am, in a seven -tonner?" 

"With a couple of Cornish lads for a crew. 
Oh, it was glorious! A fortnight right out in 
the open, with no worries, no letters, no callers, 
no petty thoughts, nothing but the grand works 
of God, the tossing sea and the great silent 
sky. They talk of riding, indeed, I am fond 
of horses, too, but what is there to compare 
with the swoop of a little craft as she pitches 
down the long steep side of a wave, and then 
the quiver and spring as she is tossed upwards 
again? Oh, if our souls could transmigrate I'd 
be a seamew above all birds that fly! But I 
keep you, Admiral. Adieu!" 

The old sailor was too transported with sym- 
pathy to say a word. He could only shake her 
broad muscular hand. She was half-way down 
the garden path before she heard him calling 
her, and saw his grizzled head and weather- 
stained face looking out from behind the 

"You may put me down for the platform," 
he cried, and vanished abashed behind the cur- 
tain of his Times, where his wife found him at 
lunch time. 

"I hear that you have had quite a long chat 
with Mrs. Westmacott," said she. 

"Yes, and I think that she is one of the 
most sensible women that I ever knew. 


"Except on the woman's rights question, of 
course. " 

"Oh, I don't know. She had a good deal 
to say for herself on that also. In fact, mother, 
I have taken a platf om ticket for her meeting. " 



But this was not to be the only eventful con- 
versation which Mrs. Westmacott held that day, 
nor was the Admiral the only person in the 
Wilderness who was destined to find his opin- 
ions considerably changed. Two neighboring 
families, the Winslows from Anerley, and the 
Cumberbatches from Gipsy Hill, had been in- 
vited to tennis by Mrs. Westmacott, and the 
lawn was gay in the evening with the blazers 
of the young men and the bright dresses of the 
girls. To the older people, sitting round in 
their wicker-work garden chairs, the darting, 
stooping, springing white figures, the sweep of 
skirts, and twinkle of canvas shoes, the click 
of the rackets and sharp whiz of the balls, 
with the continual "fifteen love — fifteen alll" 
of the marker, made up a merry and exhilarat- 
ing scene. To see their sons and daughters so 
flushed and healthy and happy, gave them also 


a reflected glow, and it was hard to say who 
had most pleasure from the game, those who 
played or those who watched. 

Mrs. Westmacott had just finished a set when 
she caught a glimpse of Clara Walker sitting 
alone at the farther end of the ground. She 
ran down the court, cleared the net to the 
amazement of the visitors, and seated herself 
beside her. Clara's reserved and refined nature 
shrank somewhat from the boisterous frankness 
and strange manners of the widow, and yet 
her feminine instinct told her that beneath all 
her peculiarities there lay much that was good 
and noble. She smiled up at her, therefore, and 
nodded a greeting. 

"Why aren't you playing, then? Don't, for 
goodness' sake, begin to be languid and young 
ladyish! When you give up active sports you 
give up youth." 

"I have played a set, Mrs. Westmacott." 

"That's right, my dear." She sat down be- 
side her, and tapped her upon the arm with 
her tennis racket. "I like you, my dear, and 
I am going to call you Clara. You are not as 
aggressive as I should wish, Clara, but still 
I like you very much. Self-sacrifice is all very 
well, you know, but we have had rather too 
much of it on our side, and should like to see 
t little on the other. What do you think of 
fifty nephew Charles? 11 


The question was so sudden and unexpected 
that Clara gave quite a jump in her chair. "I — 
I — I hardly ever have thought of your nephew 
Charles. " 

"No? Oh, you must think him well over, 
for I want to speak to you about him." 

"To me? But why?" 

"It seemed to me most delicate. You see, 
Clara, the matter stands in this way. It is quite 
possible that I may soon find myself in a com- 
pletely new sphere of life, which will involve 
fresh duties and make it impossible for me 
to keep up a household which Charles can 
share. " 

Clara stared. Did this mean that she was 
about to marry again? What else could it 
point to? 

"Therefore Charles must have a household of 
his own. That is obvious. Now, I don't ap- 
prove of bachelor establishments. Do you?" 

"Really, Mrs. Westmacott, I have never 
thought of the matter." 

"Oh, you little sly puss! Was there ever a 
girl who never thought of the matter? I think 
that a young man of six-and-twenty ought to 
be married." 

Clara felt very uncomfortable. The awful 
thought had come upon her that this ambassa- 
dress had come to her as a proxy with a pro- 
posal of marriage. But how could that be? 


She had not spoken more than three or four 
times with her nephew, and knew nothing more 
of him than he had told her on the evening 
before. It was impossible, then. And yet what 
could his aunt mean by this discussion of his 
private affairs? 

"Do you not think yourself," she persisted, 
"that a young man of six- and- twenty is better 

"I should think that he is old enough to de- 
cide for himself." 

"Yes, yes. He has done so. But Charles is 
just a little shy, just a little slow in express- 
ing himself. I thought that I would pave the 
way for him. Two women can arrange these 
things so much better. Men sometimes have 
a difficulty in making themselves clear." 

"I really hardly follow you, Mrs. West- 
macott," cried Clara in despair. 

"He has no profession. But he has nice 
tastes. He reads Browning every night. And 
he is most amazingly strong. When he was 
younger we used to put on the gloves together, 
but I cannot persuade him to now, for he says 
he cannot play light enough. I should allow 
him five hundred, which should be enough at 

"My dear Mrs. Westmacott," cried Clara, "I 
assure you that I have not the least idea what 
it is that you are talking of." 


"Do you think your sister Ida would have 
my nephew Charles?" 

Her sister Ida? Quite a little thrill of relief 
and of pleasure ran through her at the thought. 
Ida and Charles Westmacott. She had never 
thought of it. And yet they had been a good 
deal together. They had played tennis. They 
had shared th^ tandem tricycle. Again came 
the thrill of joy, and close at its heels the cold 
questionings of conscience. Why this joy? 
What was the real source of it? Was it that 
deep down, somewhere pushed back in the 
black recesses of the soul, there was the thought 
lurking that if Charles prospered in his wooing 
then Harold Denver would still be free? How 
mean, how unmaidenly, how unsisterly the 
thought! She crushed it down and thrust it 
aside, but still it would push up its wicked 
little head. She crimsoned with shame at her 
own baseness, as she turned once more to her 

"I really do not know," she said. 

"She is not engaged?" 

"Not that I know of." 

"You speak hesitatingly." 

"Because I am not sure. But he may ask. 
She cannot but be flattered." 

"Quite so. I tell him that it is the most 
practical compliment which a man can pay 
to a woman. He is a little shy, but when he 


sets himself to do it he will do it. He is very 
much in love with her, I assure you These 
little lively people always do attract the slow 
and heavy ones, which is nature's device for 
the neutralizing of bores. But they are all go- 
ing in. I think if you will allow me that I 
will just take the opportunity to tell him that, 
as far as you know, there is no positive obsta- 
cle in the way." 

"As far as I know," Clara repeated, as the 
widow moved away to where the players were 
grouped round the net, or sauntering slowly 
towards the house. She rose to follow her, but 
her head was in a whirl with new thoughts, and 
she sat down again. Which would be best for 
Ida, Harold or Charles? She thought it over 
with as much solicitude as a mother who plans 
for her only child. Harold had seemed to her 
to be in many ways the noblest and the best 
young man whom she had known. If ever she 
was to love a man it would be such a man as 
that. But she must not think of herself. She 
had reason to believe that both these men loved 
her sister. Which would be the best for her? 
But perhaps the matter was already decided. 
She could not forget the scrap of conversation 
which she had heard the night before, nor the 
secret which her sister had refused to confide 
to her. If Ida would not tell her, there was 
but one person who could, She raised her ^yes 


and there was Harold Denver standing before 

"You were lost in your thoughts," said he, 
smiling. "I hope that they were pleasant ones. " 

"Oh, I was planning," said she, rising. "It 
seems rather a waste of time as a rule, for 
things have a way of working themselves out 
just as you least expect." 

"What were you planning, then?" 

"The future." 


"Oh, my own and Ida's." 

"And was I included in your joint futures? 

"I hope all our friends were included." 

"Don't go in," said he, as she began to move 
slowly towards the house. "I wanted to have 
a word. Let us stroll up and down the lawn. 
Perhaps you are cold. If you are, I could bring 
you out a shawl." 

"Oh, no, I am not cold." 

"I was speaking to your sister Ida last night." 
She noticed that there was a slight quiver in 
his voice, and, glancing up at his dark, clear- 
cut face, she saw that he was very grave. She 
felt that it was settled, that he had come to 
ask her for her sister's hand. 

"She is a charming girl," said he, after a 

"Indeed she is," cried Clara warmly. "And 
ao one who has not lived with her and known 


her intimately can tell how charming and good 
she is. She is like a sunbeam in the house." 

"No one who was not good could be so ab- 
solutely happy as she seems to be. Heaven's 
last gift, I think, is a mind so pure and a spirit 
so high that it is unable even to see what is 
impure and evil in the world around us. For 
as long as we can see it, how can we be truly 

"She has a deeper side also. She does not 
turn it to the world, and it is not natural that 
she should, for she is very young. But she 
thinks, and has aspirations of her own." 

"You cannot admire her more than I do. 
Indeed, Miss Walker, I only ask to be brought 
into nearer relationship with her, and to feel 
that there is a permanent bond between us." 

It had come at last. For a moment her heart 
was numbed within her, and then a flood of 
sisterly love carried all before it. Down with 
that dark thought which would still try to raise 
its unhallowed head! She turned to Harold 
with sparkling eyes and words of pleasure upon 
her lips. 

"I should wish to be near and dear to both 
of you," said he, as he took her hand. "I 
should wish Ida to be my sister, and you my 

She said nothing. She only stood looking 
at him with parted lips and great, dark, ques- 


tioning eyes. The lawn had vanished away, 
the sloping gardens, the brick villas, the dark- 
ening sky with half a pale moon beginning to 
show over the chimney- tops. All was gone, 
and she was only conscious of a dark, earnest, 
pleading face, and of a voice, far away, dis- 
connected from herself, the voice of a man tell- 
ing a woman how he loved her. He was un- 
happy, said the voice, his life was a void; there 
was but one thing that could save him; he had 
come to the parting of the ways, here lay hap- 
piness and honor, and all that was high and 
noble; there lay the soul-killing round, the 
lonely life, the base pursuit of money, the 
sordid, selfish aims. He needed but the hand 
of the woman that he loved to lead him into 
the better path. And how he loved her his 
life would show. He loved her for her sweet- 
ness, lor her womanliness, for her strength. 
He had need of her. Would she not come to 
him? And then of a sudden as she listened it 
came home to her that the man was Harold 
Denver, and that she was the woman, and that 
all God's work was very beautiful — the green 
sward beneath her feet, the rustling leaves, the 
long orange slashes in the western sky. She 
spoke; she scarce knew what the broken words 
were, but she saw the light of joy shine out on 
his face, and her hand was still in his as they 
wandered amid the twilight. They said no 


more now, but only wandered and felt each 
other's presence. All was fresh around them, 
familiar and yet new, tinged with the beauty 
of their new-found happiness. 

"Did you not know it before?" he asked. 

"I did not dare to think it" 

"What a mask of ice I must wear! How 
could a man feel as I have done without show* 
ing it? Your sister at least knew." 


"It was last night. She began to praise you, 
I said what I felt, and then in an instant it 
was all out." 

"But what could you — what could you see in 
me? Oh, I do pray that you may not repent 
it!" The gentle heart was ruffled amid its joy 
by the thought of its own unworthiness. 

"Repent it! I feel that I am a saved man. 
You do not know how degrading this city life 
is, how debasing, and yet how absorbing. 
Money for ever clinks in your ear. You can 
think of nothing else. From the bottom of 
my heart I hate it, and yet how can I draw 
back without bringing grief to my dear old 
father? There was but one way in which I 
could defy the taint, and that was by having a 
home influence so pure and so high that it 
may brace me up against all that draws me 
down. I have felt that influence already. I 
know that when I am talking to you I am a 


feetter man. It is you who must go with mt 
through life, or I must walk for ever alone." 

"Oh, Harold, I am so happy!" Still they 
wandered amid the darkening shadows, while 
one by one the stars peeped out in the blue- 
black sky above them. At last a chill night 
wind blew up from the east, and brought them 
back to the realities of life. 

"You must go in. You will be cold." 

"My father will wonder where I am. Shall I 
say anything to him?" 

"If you like, my darling. Or I will in the 
morning. I must tell my mother to-night. I 
know how delighted she will be." 

"I do hope so." 

"Let me take you up the garden path. It 
is so dark. Your lamp is not lit yet. There 
is the window. Till to-morrow, then, dearest." 

"Till to-morrow, Harold. " 

"My own darling!" He stooped, and their 
lips met for the first time. Then, as she pushed 
open the folding windows she heard his quick, 
firm step as it passed down the graveled path. 
A lamp was lit as she entered the room, and 
there was Ida, dancing about like a mischievous 
little fairy in front of her. 

"And have you anything to tell me?" she 
asked, with a solemn face. Then, suddenly 
throwing her arms round her sister's neck, 
"Oh, you dear, dear old Clara! I am so pleased. 
I am so pleased. " 


•Venit tandem felicitas.* 

It was just three days after the Doctor and 
the Admiral had congratulated each other upon 
the closer tie which was to unite their two 
families, and to turn their friendship into some- 
thing even dearer and more intimate, that Miss 
Ida Walker received a letter which caused her 
some surprise and considerable amusement. It 
was dated from next door, and was handed in 
fey the red-headed page after breakfast. 

"Dear Miss Ida," began this curious docu- 
ment, and then relapsed suddenly into the 
third person. "Mr. Charles Westmacott hopes 
that he may have the extreme pleasure of a ride 
with Miss Ida Walker upon his tandem tri- 
cycle. Mr. Charles Westmacott will bring it 
round in half an hour. You in front. Yours 
very truly, Charles Westmacott." The whole 
was written in a large, loose- jointed, and 
school-boyish hand, very thin on the up strokes 
and thick on the down, as though care and 
pains had gone to the fashioning of it. 

Strange as was the form, the meaning v/as 
clear enough; so Ida hastened to her room, and 
had ftardly slipped on her light grey cycling 


dress when she saw the tandem with its large 
occupant at the door. He handed her up to 
her saddle with a more solemn and thoughtful 
face than was usual with him, and a few mo- 
ments later they were flying along the beautiful, 
smooth suburban roads in the direction of Forest 
Hill. The great limbs of the athlete made the 
heaVy machine spring and quiver with every 
stroke; while the mignon grey figure with the 
laughing face, and the golden curls blowing 
from under the little pink-banded straw hat, 
simply held firmly to her perch, and let the 
treadles whirl round beneath her feet. Mile 
after mile they flew, the wind beating in her 
face, the trees dancing past in two long ranks 
on either side, until they had passed round 
Croydon and were approaching Norwood once 
more from the further side. 

"Aren't you tired?" she asked, glancing over 
her shoulder and turning towards him a little 
pink ear, a fluffy golden curl, and one blue eye 
twinkling from the very corner of its lid. 

"Not a bit. I am just getting my swing." 

"Isn't it wonderful to be strong? You always 
remind me of a steamengine." 

"Why a steamengine?" 

"Well, because it is so powerful, and relia- 
ble, and unreasoning. Well, I didn't mean 
that last, you know, but — but — you know what 
I mean. What is the matter with you?" 



"Because you have something on your mind. 
You have not laughed once." 

He broke into a gruesome laugh. "I am 
quite jolly," said he. 

"Oh, no, you are not. And why did you 
write me such a dreadfully stiff letter?" 

"There now," he cried, "I was sure it was 
stiff. I said it was absurdly stiff." 

"Then why write it?" 

"It wasn't my own composition. * 

"Whose then? Your aunt's?" 

"Oh, no. It was a person of the name of 

"Goodness! Who is he?" 

"I knew it would come out, I felt that it 
would. You've heard of Slattery the author?" 


"He is wonderful at expressing himself. He 
wrote a book called 'The Secret Solved; or, 
Letter- writing Made Easy.' It gives you mod- 
els of all sorts of letters." 

Ida burst out laughing. "So you actually 
copied one." 

"It was to invite a young lady to a picnic, 
but I set to work and soon got it changed so 
that it would do very well. Slattery seems never 
to have asked any one to ride a tandem. But 
when I had written it, it seemed so dreadfully 
stiff that I had to put a little beginning and 
end of my own, which seemed to brighten it 
up a good deaU" 


M I thought there was something funny about 
the beginning and end." 

"Did you? Fancy your noticing the differ- 
ence in style. How quick you are! lam ver> 
slow at things like that. I ought to have been 
a woodman, or game-keeper, or something. I 
was made on those lines. But I have found 
something now." 

"What is that, then?" 

"Ranching. I have a chum in Texas, and 
he says it is a rare life. I am to buy a share 
in his business. It is all in the open air- 
shooting, and riding, and sport. Would it- 
would it inconvenience you much, Ida, to come 
out there with me?" 

Ida nearly fell off her perch in her amaze- 
ment. The only words of which she could think 
were "My goodness me!" so she said them. 

"If it would not upset your plans, or change 
your arrangements in any way. " He had slowed 
down and let go of the steering handle, so that 
the great machine crawled aimlessly about from 
one side of the road to the other. "I know 
very well that I am not clever or anything of 
that sort, but still I would do all I can to make 
you very happy. Don't you think that in time 
you might come to like me a little bit?" 

Ida gave a cry of fright. "I won't like you 
if you run me against a brick wall," she said, 
as the machine rasped up against the curb. 
"Do attend to the steering, " 


"Yes, I will. But tell me, Ida, whether you 
will come with me." 

"Oh, I don't know. It's too absurd! How 
can we talk about such things when I cannot 
see you? You speak to the nape of my neck, 
and then I have to twist my head round to an- 
swer. " 

"I know. That was why I put 'You in front' 
upon my letter. I thought that it would make 
it easier. But if you would prefer it I will 
stop the machine, and then you can sit round 
and talk about it." 

"Good gracious!" cried Ida. "Fancy our 
sitting face to face on a motionless tricycle in 
the middle of the road, and all the people 
looking out of their windows at us!" 

"It would look rather funny, wouldn't it? 
Well, then, suppose that we both get off and 
push the tandem along in front of us?" 

"Oh, no, this is better than that." 

"Or I could carry the thing." 

Ida burst out laughing. "That would be more 
absurd still." 

"Then we will go quietly, and I will look out 
for the steering. I won't talk about it at all if 
you would rather not. But I really do love you 
very much, and you would make me happy if 
you came to Texas with me, and I think that 
perhaps after a time I could make you happy 

"But your aunt?" 


"Oh, she would like it very much. I can 
understand that your father might not like to 
lose you. I'm sure I wouldn't either, if I were 
he. But after all, America is not very far off 
nowadays, and is not so very wild. We would 
take a grand piano, and — and — a copy of 
Browning. And Denver and his wife would 
come over to see us. We should be quite a 
family party. It would be jolly." 

Ida sat listening to the stumbling words and 
awkward phrases which were whispered from 
the back of her, but there was something in 
Charles Westmacott's clumsiness of speech 
which was more moving than the words of the 
most eloquent of pleaders. He paused, he 
stammered, he caught his breath between the 
words, and he blurted out in little blunt phrases 
all the hopes of his heart. If love had not come 
to her yet, there was at least pity and sympa- 
thy, which are nearly akin to it. Wonder there 
was also that one so weak and frail as she 
should shake this strong man so, should have 
the whole course of his life waiting for her 
decision. Her left hand was on the cushion at 
her side. He leaned forward and took it gently 
in his own. She did not try to draw it back 
from him. 

"May I have it," said he, "for life?" 

"Oh, do attend to your steering," said she, 
smiling round at him; "and don't say any more 
about this to-day. Please don' tP 


" When shall I know, then?" 

"Oh, to-night, to-morrow, I don't know. I 
must ask Clara. Talk about something else." 

And they did talk about something else; but 
her left hand was still enclosed in his, and he 
knew, without asking again, that all was well. 



Mrs. Westmacott's great meeting for the en- 
franchisement of woman had passed over, and 
it had been a triumphant success. All the 
maids and matrons of the southern suburbs had 
rallied at her summons, there was an influential 
platform with Dr. Balthazar Walker in the 
chair, and Admiral Hay Denver among his 
more prominent supporters. One benighted 
male had come in from the outside darkness 
and had jeered from the further end of the hall, 
but he had been called to order by the chair, 
petrified by indignant glances from the unen- 
franchised around him, and finally escorted to 
the door by Charles Westmacott. Fiery reso- 
lutions were passed, to be forwarded to a large 
number of leading statesmen, and the meeting 
broke up with the conviction that a shrewd 


blow had been struck for the cause of woman. 

But there was one woman at least to whom 
the meeting and all that was connected with it 
had brought anything but pleasure. Clara 
Walker watched with a heavy heart the friend- 
ship and close intimacy which had sprung up 
between her father and the widow. From week 
to week it had increased until no day ever 
passed without their being together. The com- 
ing meeting had been the excuse for these con- 
tinual interviews, but now the meeting was 
over, and still the Doctor would refer every 
point which rose to the judgment of his neighbor. 
He would talk, too, to his two daughters of 
her strength of character, her decisive mind, 
and of the necessity of their cultivating her ac- 
quaintance and following her example, until at 
last it had become his most common topic of 

All this might have passed as merely the nat- 
ural pleasure which an elderly man might take 
in the society of an intelligent and handsome 
woman, but there were other points which 
seemed to Clara to give it a deeper meaning. 
She could not forget that when Charles West- 
macott had spoken to her one night he had 
alluded to the possibility of his aunt marrying 
again. He must have known or noticed some- 
thing before he would speak upon such a sub- 
ject. And then again Mrs. Westmacott had 


herself said that she hoped to change her style 
of living shortly and take over completely new 
duties. What could that mean except that she 
expected to marry? And whom? She seemed 
to see few friends outside their own little circle. 
She must have alluded to her father. It was a 
hateful thought, and yet it must be faced. 

One evening the Doctor had been rather late 
at his neighbor's. He used to go into the Ad- 
miral's after dinner, but now he turned more 
frequently in the other direction. When he 
returned Clara was sitting alone in the draw- 
ing-room reading a magazine. She sprang up 
as he entered, pushed forward his chair, and 
ran to fetch his slippers. 

"You are looking a little pale, dear," he re- 

"Oh, no, papa, I am very well." 

"All well with Harold?" 

"Yes. His partner, Mr. Pearson, is still 
away, and he is doing all the work." 

"Well done. He is sure to succeed. Where 
is Ida?" 

"In her room, I think." 

"She was with Charles Westmacott on the 
lawn not very long ago. He seems very fond 
of her. He is not very bright, but I think he 
will make her a good husband. " 

"I am sure of it, papa, He is very manly 
and reliable* n 


"Yes, I should think that he is not the sort 
of man who goes wrong. There is nothing 
hidden about him. As to his brightness, it really 
does not matter, for his aunt, Mrs. Westmacott, 
is very rich, much richer than you would think 
from her style of living, and she has made him 
a handsome provision." 

"I am glad of that." 

"It is between ourselves. I am her trustee, 
and so I know something of her arrangements. 
And when are you going to marry, Clara?" 

"Oh, papa, not for some time yet. We have 
not thought of a date." 

"Well, really, I don't know that there is any 
reason for delay. He has a competence and it 
increases yearly. As long as you are quite cer- 
tain that your mind is made up " 

"Oh, papa!" 

"Well, then, I really do not know why there 
should be any delay. And Ida, too, must be 
married within the next few months. Now, 
what I want to know is what I am to do when 
my two little companions run away from me." 
He spoke lightly, but his eyes were grave as 
he looked questioningly at his daughter. 

"Dear papa, you shall not be alone. It will 
be years before Harold and I think ol marrying, 
and when we do you must come and live with 

"No, no, dear. I know that you mean what 


you say, but I have seen something of the 
world, and I know that such arrangements never 
answer. There cannot be two masters in a 
house, and yet at my age my freedom is very 
necessary to me." 

"But you would be completely free." 

"No, dear, you cannot be that if you are a 
guest in another man's house. Can you sug- 
gest no other alternative?" 

"That we remain with you." 

"No, no. That is out of the question. Mrs. 
Westmacott herself says that a woman's first 
duty is to marry. Marriage, however, should 
be an equal partnership, as she points out I 
should wish you both to marry, but still I should 
like a suggestion from you, Clara, as to what 
/should do." 

"But there is no hurry, papa. Let us wait. 
I do not intend to marry yet. " 

Doctor Walker looked disappointed. "Well, 
Clara, if you can suggest nothing, I suppose 
that I must take the initiative myself," said 

"Then what do you propose, papa?" She 
braced herself as one who sees the blow which 
is about to fall. 

He looked at her and hesitated. "How like 
your poor dear mother you are, Clara!" he 
cried. "As I looked at you then it was as if 
she had come back from the grave." He 


stooped towards her and kissed her. "There, 
run away to your sister, my dear, and do not 
trouble yourself about me. Nothing is settled 
yet, but you will find that all will come right. " 
Clara went upstairs sad at heart, for she was 
sure now that what she had feared was indeed 
about to come to pass, and that her father was 
going to take Mrs. Westmacott to be his wife. 
In her pure and earnest mind her mother's 
memory was enshrined as that of a saint, and 
the thought that any one should take her place 
seemed a terrible desecration. Even worse, 
however, did this marriage appear when looked 
at from the point of view of her father's future. 
The widow might fascinate him by her knowl- 
edge of the world, her dash, her strength, her 
unconventionally — all these qualities Clara was 
willing to allow her — but she was convinced 
that she would be unendurable as a life com- 
panion. She had come to an age when habits 
are not lightly to be changed, nor was she a 
woman who was at all likely to attempt to 
change them. How would a sensitive man like 
her father stand the constant strain of such a 
wife, a woman who was all decision, with no 
softness, and nothing soothing in her nature? 
It passed as a mere eccentricity when they 
heard of her stout drinking, her cigarette smok- 
ing, her occasional whiffs at a long clay pipe, 
her horsewhipping of a drunken servant, and 


her companionship with the snake Eliza, whom 
she was in the habit of bearing about in her 
pocket. All this would become unendurable to 
her father when his first infatuation was past. 
For his own sake, then, as well as for her 
mother's memory, this match must be prevented. 
And yet how powerless she was to prevent it! 
What could she do? Could Harold aid her? 
Perhaps. Or Ida? At least she would tell her 
sister and see what she could suggest. 

Ida was in her boudoir, a tiny little tapestried 
room, as neat and dainty as herself, with low 
walls hung with Imari plaques and with pretty 
little Swiss brackets bearing blue Kaga ware, 
or the pure white Coalport china. In a low 
chair beneath a red shaded standing lamp sat 
Ida, in a diaphanous evening dress of mousseline 
desoie, the ruddy light tinging her sweet child- 
like face, and glowing on her golden curls. 
She sprang up as her sister entered, and threw 
her arms around her. 

"Dear old Clara! Come and sit down here 
beside me. I have not had a chat for days. 
But, oh, what a troubled face! What is it 
then?" She put up her forefinger and smoothed 
her sister's brow with it. 

Clara pulled up a stool, and sitting down 
beside her sister, passed her arm round her 
waist. "I am so sorry to trouble you, dear 
Ida," she said. "But I do not know what to 


"There's nothing the matter with Harold?" 

"Oh, no, Ida." 

"Nor with my Charles?" 

"No, no." 

Ida gave a sigh of relief. "You quite fright* 
ened me, dear," said she. "You can't think 
how solemn you look. What is it, then?" 

"I believe that papa intends to ask Mrs. 
Westmacott to marry him." 

Ida burst out laughing. "What can have 
put such a notion into your head, Clara?" 

"It is only too true, Ida. I suspected it be- 
fore, and he himself almost told me as much 
with his own lips to-night. I don't think that 
it is a laughing matter." 

"Really, I could not help it. If you had told 
me that those two dear old ladies opposite, the 
Misses Williams, were both engaged, you would 
not have surprised me more. It is really too 
funny. " 

"Funny, Ida! Think of any one taking the 
place of dear mother." 

But her sister was of a more practical and 
less sentimental nature. "I am sure," said she, 
"that dear mother would like papa to do what- 
ever would make him most happy. We shall 
both be away, and why should papa not please 

"But think how unhappy he will be. You 
know how quiet he is in his ways, and how 


even a little thing will upset him. How could 
he live with a wife who would make his whole 
life a series of surprises? Fancy what a whirl- 
wind she must be in a house. A man at his 
age cannot change his ways. I am sure he would 
be miserable." 

Ida's face grew graver, and she pondered over 
the matter for a few minutes. "I really think 
that you are right as usual," said she at last. 
"I admire Charlie's aunt very much, you know, 
and I think that she is a very useful and good 
person, but I don't think she would do as a wi'fe 
for poor quiet papa." 

"But he will certainly ask her, and I really 
think that she intends to accept him. Then it 
would be too late to interfere. We have only 
a few days at the most. And what can we do? 
How can we hope to make him change his 

Again Ida pondered. "He has never tried 
what it is to live with a strong-minded woman," 
said she. "If we could only get him to realize 
it in time. Oh, Clara, I have it ; I have it ! Such 
a lovely plan !" She leaned back in her chair 
and burst into a fit of laughter so natural and so 
hearty that Clara had to forget her troubles and 
to join in it. 

"Oh, it is beautiful!" she gasped at last. 
"Poor papa! What a time he will have! But 
it's all for his own good, as he used to say when 


we had to be punished when we were little. 
Oh, Clara, I do hope your heart won't fail 

"I would do anything to save him, dear." 

"That's it. You must steel yourself by that 
thought. " 

"But what is your plan?" 

"Oh, I am so proud of it. We will tire him 
for ever of the widow, and of all emancipated 
women. Let me see, what are Mrs. Westma- 
cott's main ideas? You have listened to her 
more than I. Women should attend less to 
household duties. That is one, is it not?" 

"Yes, if they feel they have capabilities for 
higher things. Then she thinks that every 
woman who has leisure should take up the 
study of some branch of science, and that, as 
far as possible, every woman should qualify 
herself for some trade or profession, choosing 
for preference those which have been hitherto 
monopolized by men. To enter the others would 
only be to intensify the present competition." 

"Quite so. That is glorious!" Her blue 
eyes were dancing with mischief, and she 
clapped her hands in her delight "What else? 
She thinks that whatever a man can do a wom- 
an should be allowed to do also — does she 

"She says so." 

"And about dress? The short skirt, and 


the divided skirt are what she believes in?" 


"We must get in some cloth." 


"We must make ourselves a dress each* A 
brand-new, enfranchised, emancipated dress, 
dear. Don't you see my plan? We shall act 
up to all Mrs. Westmacott's views in every 
respect, and improve them when we can. Then 
papa will know what it is to live with a woman 
who claims all her rights. Oh, Clara, it will 
be splendid." 

Her milder sister sat speechless before so 
daring a scheme. "But it would be wrong, 
Ida!" she cried at last. 

"Not a bit. It is to save him." 

"I should not dare." 

"Oh, yes, you would. Harold will help. Be- 
sides, what other plan have you?" 

"I have none." 

"Then you must take mine.* 

"Yes. Perhaps you are right. Well, we do 
it for a good motive." 

"You will do it?" 

"I do not see any other way." 

"You dear good Clara! Now I will show you 
what you are to do. We must not begin too 
suddenly. It might excite suspicion." 

"What would you do, then?" 

"To-morrow we must go to Mrs.Westraacott, 


and sit at her feet and learn all her views." 

"What hypocrites we shall feel!" 

"We shall be her newest and most enthusi- 
astic converts. Oh, it will be such fun, Clara! 
Then we shall make our plans and send fol 
what we want, and begin our new life." 

"I do hope that we shall not have to keep it 
up long. It seems so cruel to dear papa." 

"Cruel! To save him!" 

"I wish I was sure that we were doing right. 
And yet what else can we do? Well, then, Ida, 
the die is cast, and we will call upon Mrs. 
Westmacott to-morrow." 



Little did poor Doctor Walker imagine as 
he sat at his breakfast-table next morning that 
the two sweet girls who sat on either side of 
him were deep in a conspiracy, and that he, 
munching innocently at his muffins, was the 
victim against whom their wiles were planned. 
Patiently they waited until at last their open- 
ing came. 

"It is a beautiful day," he remarked. "It will 
do for Mrs. Westmacott. She was thinking of 
having a spin upon the tricycle." 


"Then we must call early. We both intended 
to see her after breakfast." 

"Oh, indeed!" The Doctor looked pleased. 

"You know, pa," said Ida, "it seems to us 
that we really have a very great advantage in 
having Mrs. Westmacott living so near." 

"Why so, dear?" 

"Well, because she is so advanced, you know. 
If we only study her ways we may advance 
ourselves also." 

"I think I have heard you say, papa," Clara 
remarked, "that she is the type of the woman 
of the future. " 

"I am very pleased to hear you speak so sen- 
sibly, my dears. I certainly think that she is 
a woman whom you may very well take as your 
model. The more intimate you are with her 
the better pleased I shall be." 

"Then that is settled," said Clara demurely, 
and the talk drifted to other matters. 

All the morning the two girls sat extracting 
from Mrs. Westmacott her most extreme view 
as to the duty of the one sex and the tyranny 
©f the other. Absolute equality, even in de- 
tails, was her ideal. Enough of the parrot cry 
of unwomanly and unmaidenly. It had been 
invented by man to scare woman away when 
she poached too nearly upon his precious pre- 
serves. Every woman should be independent. 
Every woman should learn a trade. It was 


their duty to "push in where they were least 
welcome. Then they were martyrs to the cause, 
and pioneers to their weaker sisters. Why 
should the wash-tub, the needle, and the house- 
keepers book be eternally theirs? Might they 
not reach higher, to the consulting-room, to 
the bench, and even to the pulpit? Mrs. West- 
macott sacrificed her tricycle ride in her eager- 
ness over her pet subject, and her two fair dis- 
ciples drank in every word, and noted every 
suggestion for future use. That afternoon they 
went shopping in London, and before evening 
strange packages began to be handed in at the 
Doctor's door. The plot was ripe for execution, 
and one of the conspirators was merry and ju- 
bilant, while the other was very nervous and 

When the Doctor came down to the dining- 
room next morning, he was surprised to find 
that his daughters had already been up some 
time. Ida was installed at one end of the table 
with a spirit-lamp, a curved glass flask, and 
several bottles in front of her. The contents 
of the flask were boiling furiously, while a vil- 
lainous smell filled the room. Clara lounged in 
an arm-chair with her feet upon a second one, 
a blue-covered book in her hand, and a huge 
map of the British Islands spread across her 
lap. "Hullo! " cried the Doctor, blinking and 
sniffing, "where* s the breakfast?" 


M 0h, didn't you order it?" asked Ida. 

"I! No; why should I?" He rang the bell. 
"Why have you not laid the breakfast, Jane?" 

"If you please, sir, Miss Ida was a workin' at 
the table." 

"Oh, of course, Jane," said the young lady 
calmly. "I am so sorry. I shall be ready to 
move in a few minutes." 

"But what on earth are you doing, Ida?" 
asked the Doctor. "The smell is most offen- 
sive. And, good gracious, look at the mess 
which you have made upon the cloth! Why, 
you have burned a hole right through." 

"Oh, that is the acid," Ida answered con- 
tentedly. "Mrs Westmacott said that it would 
burn holes." 

"You might have taken her word for it with- 
out trying," said her father dryly. 

"But look here, pa! See what the book says: 
•The scientific mind takes nothing upon trust. 
Prove all things!' I have proved that." 

"You certainly have. Well, until breakfast 
is ready I'll glance over the Times. Have you 
seen it?" 

The Times f Oh, dear me, this is it which 
I have under my spirit-lamp. I am afraid there 
is some acid upon that too, and it is rather 
damp and torn. Here it is." 

The Doctor took the bedraggled paper with a 
fuefulface. "Everything seems to be wrong 


to-day, " he remarked. "What is this suddea 
enthusiasm about chemistry, Ida?" 

"Oh, I am trying to live up to Mrs. West- 
macott's teaching." 

"Quite right! quite right!" said he, though 
perhaps with less heartiness than he had shown 
the day before. "Ah, here is breakfast at last!" 

But nothing was comfortable that morning. 
There were eggs without egg-spoons, toast 
which was leathery from being kept, dried-up 
rashers, and grounds in the coffee. Above all, 
there was that dreadful smell which pervaded 
everything and gave a horrible twang to every 

"I don't wish to put a damper upon your 
studies, Ida," said the Doctor, as he pushed 
back his chair. "But I do think it would be 
better if you did your chemical experiments a 
little later in the day." 

"But Mrs. Westmacott says that women 
should rise early, and do their work before 
breakfast. " 

"Then they should choose some other room 
besides the breakfast-room." The Doctor was 
becoming just a little ruffled. A turn in the 
open air would soothe him, he thought. "Where 
are my boots?" he asked. 

But they were not in their accustomed corner 
by his chair. Up and down he searched, while 
the three servants took up the quest, stooping 


and peeping under book-cases and drawers. 
Ida had returned to her studies, and Clara to 
her blue-covered volume, sitting absorbed and 
disinterested amid the bustle and the racket. 
At last a general buzz of congratulation an- 
nounced that the cook had discovered the boots 
hung up among the hats in the hall. The Doc- 
tor, very red and flustered, drew them on, and 
stamped off to join the Admiral in his morning 

As the door slammed Ida burst into a shout 
of laughter. "You see, Clara," she cried, "the 
charm works already. He has gone to number 
one instead of to number three. Oh, we shall 
win a great victory. You've been very good, 
dear; I could see that you were on thorns to 
help him when he was looking for his boots. " 

"Poor papa! It is so cruel. And yet what 
are we to do?" 

"Oh, he will enjoy being comfortable all the 
more if we give him a little discomfort now. 
What horrible work this chemistry is! Look 
at my frock! It is ruined. And this dreadful 
smell!" She threw open the window, and thrust 
her little golden-curled head out of it. Charles 
Westmacott was hoeing at the other side of 
the garden fence. 

"Good morning, sir," said Ida. 

"Good morning!" The big man leased upon 
his hoe and looked up at her. 


"Have you any cigarettes, Charles?' 1 

"Yes, certainly." 

"Throw me up two." 

"Here is my case. Can you catch!" 

A seal-skin case came with a soft thud on to 
the floor. Ida opened it. It was full. 

"What are these?" she asked. 

"Egyptians. " 

"What are some other brands?" 

"Oh, Richmond Gems, and Turkish, and 
Cambridge. But why?" 

"Never mind!" She nodded to him and closed 
the window. "We must remember all those, 
Clara," said she. "We must learn to talk about 
such things. Mrs. Westmacott knows all about 
the brands of cigarettes. Has your rum come?" 

"Yes, dear. It is here." 

"And I have my stout. Come along up to my 
room now. This smell is too abominable. But 
we must be ready for him when he comes back. 
If we sit at the window we shall see him com- 
ing down the road." 

The fresh morning air, and the genial com- 
pany of the Admiral had caused the Doctor to 
forget his troubles, and he came back about 
midday in an excellent humor. As he opened 
the hall door the vile smell of chemicals which 
had spoilt his breakfast met him with a re- 
doubled virulence. He threw open the hall win- 
dow, entered the dining-room, and stood aghast 
at the sight which met his eyes. 


Ida was still sitting among her bottles, with 
a lit cigarette in her left hand and a glass of 
stout on the table beside her. Clara, with an- 
other cigarette, was lounging in the easy chair 
with several maps spread out upon the floor 
around. Her feet were stuck up on the coal 
scuttle, and she had a tumblerful of some red- 
dish-brown composition on the smoking table 
close at her elbow. The Doctor gazed from 
one to the other of them through the thin grey 
haze of smoke, but his eyes rested finally in a 
settled stare of astonishment upon his elder and 
more serious daughter. 

"Clara!" he gasped, "I could not have be- 
lieved it!" 

"What is it, papa?" 

"You are smoking!" 

"Trying to, papa. I find it a little difficult, 
for I have not been used to it." 

"But why, in the name of goodness — " 

"Mrs. Westmacott recommends it." 

"Oh, a lady of mature years may do many 
things which a young girl must avoid. " 

"Oh, no," cried Ida, "Mrs. Westmacott says 
that there should be one law for all. Have a 
cigarette, pa?" 

"No, thank you. I never smoke in the 
morning. " 

"No? Perhaps you don't care for the brand. 
What are these, Clara?" 



"Ah, we must have some Richmond Gems or 
Turkish. I wish, pa, when you go into town, 
you would get me some Turkish. " 

"I will do nothing of the kind. I do not at 
all think that it is a fitting habit for young 
ladies. I do not agree with Mrs. Westmacott 
upon the point." 

"Really, pa! It was you who advised us to 
imitate her." 

"But with discrimination. What is it that 
you are drinking, Clara?" 

"Rum, papa." 

"Rum? In the morning?" He sat down and 
rubbed his eyes as one who tries to shake off 
some evil dream. "Did you say rum?" 

"Yes, pa. They all drink it in the profession 
which I am going to take up." 

"Profession, Clara?" 

"Mrs. Westmacott says that every woman 
should follow a calling, and that we ought to 
choose those which women have always 
avoided. " 

"Quite so. 

"Well, I am going to act upon her advice. 
~ cm going to be a pilot." 

"My dear Clara! A pilot! This is too much." 

"This is a beautiful book, papa. 'The Lights, 
Beacons, Buoys, Channels, and Landmarks of 
Great Britain.' Here is another, 'The Master 
Mariner's Handbook.' You can't imagine how 
interesting it is." 


"You are joking, Clara. You must be jok. 

"Not at all, pa. You can't think what a lot 
I have learned already. I'm to carry a green 
light to starboard, and a red to port, with a 
white light at the mast-head, and a flare-up 
every fifteen minutes. " 

"Oh, won't it look pretty at night!" cried 
her sister. 

"And I know the fog-signals. One blast 
means that a ship steers to starboard, two to 
port, three astern, four that it is unmanageable. 
But this man asks such dreadful questions at 
the end of each chapter. Listen to this: 'You 
see a red light. The ship is on the port tack 
and the wind at north; what course is that ship 
steering to a point?'" 

The Doctor rose with a gesture of despair. 
"I can't imagine what has come over you 
both," said he. 

"My dear papa, we are trying hard to live 
up to Mrs. Westmacott's standard." 

"Well, I must say that I do not admire the 
result. Your chemistry, Ida, may perhaps do 
no harm; but your scheme, Clara, is out of the 
question. How a girl of 3^our sense could ever 
entertain such a notion is more than I can im- 
agine. But I must absolutely forbid you to go 
further with it." 

"But, pa," asked Ida, with an air of inno- 


cent inquiry in her big blue eyes, "what are we 
to do when your commands and Mrs. Westma- 
cott's advice are opposed? You told us to obey 
her. She says that when women try to throw 
off their shackles, their fathers, brothers and 
husbands are the very first to try to rivet them 
on again, and that in such a matter no man 
has any authority." 

"Does Mrs. Westmacott teach you that I am 
not the head of my own house?" The Doctor 
flushed, and his grizzled hair bristled in his 

"Certainly, She says that all heads of houses 
are relics o't the dark ages/' 

The Doctor muttered something and stamped 
his foot upon the carpet. Then without a word 
he passed out into the garden and his daugh- 
ters could see him striding furiously up and 
down, cutting off the heads of the flowers with 
a switch. 

"Oh, you darling! You played your part so 
splendidly!" cried Ida. 

"But how cruel it is! When I saw the sorrow 
and surprise in his eyes I very nearly put my 
arms about him and told him all. Don't you 
think we have done enough?" 

"No, no, no. Not nearly enough. You must 
not turn weak now, Clara. It is so funny that 
I should be leading you. It is quite a new ex- 
perience, But I know I am right. If we go on as 


we are doing, we shall be able to say all our lives 
that we have saved him. And if we don't, oh, 
Clara, we should never forgive ourselves." 



From that day the Doctor's peace was gone. 
Never was a quiet and orderly household trans- 
formed so suddenly into a bear garden, or a 
happy man turned into such a completely mis- 
erable one. He had never realized before how 
entirely his daughters had shielded him from all 
the friction of life. Now that they had not 
only ceased to protect him, but had themselves 
become a source of trouble to him, he began 
to understand how great the blessing was which 
he had enjoyed, and to sigh for the happy days 
before his girls had come under the influence of 
his neighbor. 

M Ypu don't look happy," Mrs. Westmacott 
had remarked to him one morning. "You are 
pale and a little off color. You should come 
with me for a ten mile spin upon the tandem. " 

"I am troubled about my girls." They were 
walking up and down in the garden. From time 
to time there sounded from the house behind 
them the long, sad wail of a French horn. 

•That is Icja," said he. "She has taken to 


practicing on that dreadful instrument in the 
intervals of her chemistry. And Clara is quite 
as bad. I declare it is getting quite unen- 

"Ah, Doctor, Doctor!" she cried, shaking her 
forefinger, with a gleam of her white teeth. 
"You must live up to your principles — you 
must give your daughters the same liberty as 
you advocate for other women." 

"Liberty, madam, certainly! But this ap- 
proaches to license." 

"The same law for all, my friend." She 
tapped him reprovingly on the arm with her 
sunshade. "When you were twenty your 
father did not, I presume, object to your learn- 
ing chemistry or playing a musical instrument. 
You would have thought it tyranny if he had." 

"But there is such a sudden change in them 

"Yes, I have noticed that they have been 
very enthusiastic lately in the cause of libertv. 
Of all my disciples I think that they promise 
to be the most devoted and consistent, which 
is the more natural since their father is one of 
our most trusted champions." 

The Doctor gave a twitch of impatience. "I 
seem to have lost all authority," he cried. 

"No, no, my dear friend. They are a little 
exuberant at having broken the trammels qI 
custom. That is all." 


"'You cannot think what I have had to put 
up with, madam. It has been a dreadful ex- 
perience. Last night, after I had extinguished 
the candle in my bedroom, I placed my foot 
upon something smooth and hard, which scut- 
tled from under me. Imagine my horror! I 
lit the gas, and came upon a well-grown tor- 
toise which Clara has thought fit to introduce 
into the house. I call it a filthy custom to have 
such pets." 

Mrs. Westmacott dropped him a little courte- 
sy. "Thank you, sir," said she. "That is a 
nice little side hit at my poor Eliza." 

"I give you my word that I had forgotten 
about her," cried the Doctor, flushing. "One 
such pet may no doubt be endured, but two 
are more than I can bear. Ida has a monkey 
which lives on the curtain rod. It is a most 
dreadful creature. It will remain absolutely 
motionless until it. sees that you have forgotten 
Its presence, and then it will suddenly bound 
from picture to picture all round the walls, and 
end by swinging down on the bell-rope and 
jumping on to the top of your head. At breakfast 
it stole a poached egg and daubed it all over the 
door handle. Ida calls these outrages amusing 

"Oh, all will come right, M said the widow 

"And Clara is as bad, Clara who used to be 


so good £nd sweet, the very image of hey poor 
mother. She insists upon this preposterous 
scheme of being a pilot, and will talk of noth- 
ing but revolving lights and hidden rocks, and 
codes of signals, and nonsense of the kind.'* 

"But why preposterous?" asked his compan- 
ion. "What nobler occupation can there be 
than that of stimulating commerce, and aiding 
the mariner to steer safely into port? I should 
think your daughter admirably adapted for such 

"Then I must beg to differ from you, madam." 

"Still, you are inconsistent." 

"Excuse me, madam, I do not see the matter 
in the same light. And I should be obliged to 
you if you would use your influence with my 
daughter to dissuade her." 

"You wish to make me inconsistent too." 

"Then you refuse?" 

"I am afraid that I cannot interfere." 

The Doctor was very angry. "Very well, 
madam," said he. "In that case I can only say 
that I have the honor to wish you a very good 
morning. " He raised his broad straw hat and 
strode away up the gravel path, while the widow 
looked after him with twinkling eyes. She was 
surprised herself to find that she liked the Doc- 
tor better the more masculine and aggressive 
he became. It was unreasonable and against 
all principle, and yet so it was and nQ argu- 
ment could mend the matter* 


Very hot and angry, the Doctor retired into 
his room and sat down to read his paper. Ida 
had retired, and the distant wails of the bugle 
showed that she was upstairs in her boudoir. 
Clara sat opposite to him with her exasperating 
charts and her blue book. The Doctor glanced 
at her and his eyes remained fixed in astonish- 
ment upon the front of her skirt. 

"My dear Clara," he cried, "you have torn 
your skirt!" 

His daughter laughed and smoothed out her 
frock. To his horror he saw the red plush of 
the chair where the dress ought to have been 
"It is all torn!" he cried. "What have you 

"My dear papa!" said she, "what do you know 
about the mysteries of ladies' dress? This is 
a divided skirt." 

Then he saw that it was indeed so arranged, 
and that his daughter was clad in a sort of 
loose, extremely long knickerbockers. 

"It will be so convenient for my sea-boots, 1 ' 
she explained. 

Her father shook his head sadly. "Your dear 
mother would not have liked it, Clara, " said he. 

For a moment the conspiracy was upon the 
point of collapsing. There was something in 
the gentleness of his rebuke, and in his appeal 
to her mother, which brought the tears to her 
eyes, and in another instant she would have 


been kneeling beside him with everything con- 
fessed, when the door flew open and her sister 
Ida came bounding into the room. She wore a 
short grey skirt, like that of Mrs. Westmacott, 
and she held it up in each hand and danced 
about among the furniture. 

"I feel quite the Gaiety girl!" she cried. 
"How delicious it must be to be upon the stage! 
You can't think how nice this dress is, papa. 
One feels so free in it. And isn't Clara charm- 

"Go to your room this instant and take it off!" 
thundered the Doctor. "I call it highly im- 
proper, and no daughter of mine shall wear it. " 

"Papa! Improper! Why, it is the exact 
model of Mrs. Westmacott' s." 

"I say it is improper. And yours also, Clara! 
Your conduct is really outrageous. You drive 
me out of the house. I am going to my club 
in town. I have no comfort or peace of mind 
in my own house. I will stand it no longer. I 
may be late to-night — I shall go to the British 
Medical meeting. But when I return I shall 
hope to find that you have reconsidered your 
conduct, and that you have shaken yourself 
clear of the pernicious influences which have 
recently made such an alteration in your con- 
duct." He seized his hat, slammed the dining- 
room door, and a few minutes later they heard 
the crash of the big front gate. 


"Victory, Clara, victory!" cried Ida, still 
pirouetting around the furniture. "Did you 
hear what he said? Pernicious influences! 
Don't you understand, Clara? Why do you sit 
there so pale and glum? Why don't you get 
up and dance?" 

"Oh, I shall be so glad when it is over, Ida. 
I do hate to give him pain. Surely he has 
learned now that it is very unpleasant to spend 
one's life with reformers." 

"He has almost learned it, Clara. Just one 
more little lesson. We must not risk all at this 
last moment." 

"What would you do, Ida? Oh, don't do 
anything too dreadful. I feel that we have 
gone too far already." 

"Oh, we can do it very nicely. You see we 
are both engaged and that makes it very easy. 
Harold will do what you ask him, especially 
as you have told him the reason why, and my 
Charles will do it without even wanting to know 
the reason. Now you know what Mrs. West- 
macott thinks about the reserve of young la- 
dies. Mere prudery, affectation, and a relic of 
the dark ages of the Zenana, Those, were her 
words, were they not?" 

"What then?" 

"Well, now we must put it in practice. We 
are reducing all her other views to practice, 
and we must not shirk this one. " 


"But what would you do? Oh, don't look so 
wicked, Ida! You look like some evil little 
fairy, with your golden hair and dancing, mis- 
chievous eyes. I know that you are going to 
propose something dreadful!" 

"We must give a little supper to-night." 

,4 We? A supper!" 

"Why not? Young gentlemen give suppers. 
Why not young ladies?" 

"But whom shall we invite?" 

"Why, Harold and Charles of course." 

"And the Admiral and Mrs. Hay Denver?" 

"Oh, no. That would be very old-fashioned. 
We must keep up with the times, Clara." 

"But what can we give them for supper?" 

"Oh, something with a nice, fast, rollicking, 
late-at-night-kind of flavor to it. Let me see! 
Champagne, of course — and oysters. Oysters 
will do. In the novels, all the naughty people 
take champagne and oysters. Besides, they 
won't need any cooking. How is your pocket- 
money, Clara?" 

"I have three pounds." 

"And I have one. Four pounds. I have no 
idea how much champagne costs. Have you?" 

"Not the slightest." 

"How many oysters does a man eat?" 

"I can't imagine." 

"I'll write and ask Charles. No, I won't. 
Til ask Jane. Ring for her, Clara. She has 
been a cook, and is sure to know." 


Jane, on being cross-questioned, refused to 
commit herself beyond the statement that it 
depended upon the gentleman, and also upon 
the oysters. The united experience of the 
kitchen, however, testified that three dozen was 
a fair provision. 

"Then we shall have eight dozen altogether, " 
said Ida, jotting down all her requirements 
upon a sheet of paper. "And two pints of 
champagne. And some brown bread, and vin- 
egar, and pepper. That's all, I think. It is 
not so very difficult to give a supper after all, 
is it, Clara?" 

"I don't like it, Ida. It seems to me to be 
so very indelicate." 

"But it is needed to clinch the matter. No, 
no, there is no drawing back now, Clara, or 
we shall ruin everything. Papa is sure to come 
back by the 9:45. . He will reach the door at 
10. We must have everything ready for him. 
Now, just sit down at once, and ask Harold to 
come at nine o'clock, and I shall do the same 
to Charles." 

The two invitations were dispatched, received 
and accepted. Harold was already a confidant, 
and he understood that this was some further 
development of the plot. As to Charles, he 
was so accustomed to feminine eccentricity, in 
the person of his aunt, that the only thing 
which could surprise him would be a rigid ol> 


servance of etiquette. At nine o'clock they 
entered the dining-room of Number 2, to find 
the master of the house absent, a red-shaded 
lamp, a snowy cloth, a pleasant little feast, and 
the two whom they would have chosen, as their 
companions. A merrier party never met, and 
the house rang with their laughter and their 

"It is three minutes to ten," cried Clara, 
suddenly, glancing at the clock. 

"Good gracious! So it is! Now for our 
little tableau! "Ida pushed the champagne bottles 
obtrusively forward, in the direction of the 
door, and scattered oyster shells over the cloth. 

"Have you your pipe, Charles?" 

"My pipe! Yes." 

"Then please smoke it. Now don't argue 
about it, but do it, for you will ruin the effect 
otherwise. " 

The large man drew out a red case, and ex- 
tracted a great yellow meerschaum, out of 
which, a moment later, he was puffing thick 
wreaths of smoke. Harold had lit a cigar, and 
both the girls had cigarettes. 

"That looks very nice and emancipated," said 
Ida, glancing round. "Now I shall lie on this 
sofa. So! Now, Charles, just sit here, and 
throw your arm carelessly over the back of the 
sofa. No, don't stop smoking. I like it. Clara, 
dear, put your feet upon the coalscuttle, an" 


do try to look a little dissipated. I wish we 
could crown ourselves with flowers. There are 
some lettuces on the sideboard. Oh dear, 
here he is! I hear his key." She began to 
sing in her high, fresh voice a little snatch from 
a French song, with a swinging tra la-la chorus. 

The Doctor had walked home from the sta- 
tion in a peaceable and relenting frame of 
mind, feeling that, perhaps, he had said too 
much in the morning, that his daughters had 
for years been models in every way, and that, 
if there had been any change of late, it was, 
as they said themselves, on account of their 
anxiety to follow his advice and to imitate Mrs. 
Westmacott. He could see clearly enough now 
that that advice was unwise, and that a world 
peopled with Mrs. Westmacotts would not be a 
happy or a soothing one. It was he who was, 
himself, to blame, and he was grieved by the 
thought that perhaps his hot words had 
troubled and saddened his two girls. 

This fear, however, was soon dissipated. As 
he entered his hall he heard the voice of Ida 
uplifted in a rollicking ditty, and a very strong 
smell of tobacco was borne to his nostrils. He 
threw open the dining-room door, and stood 
aghast at the scene which met his eyes. 

The room was full of the blue wreaths of 
smcke, and the lamp-light shone through the 
thin haze upon gold-topped bottles, plates, 


napkins, and a litter of oyster shells and ciga- 
rettes. Ida, flushed and excited, was reclining 
upon the settee, a wine-glass at her elbow, and 
a cigarette between her fingers, while Charles 
Westmacott sat beside her, with his arm thrown 
over the head of the sofa, with the suggestion 
of a caress. On the other side of the room, 
Clara was lounging in an arm-chair, with Har- 
old beside her, both smoking, and both with 
wine-glasses beside them. The Doctor stood 
speechless in the doorway, staring at the Bac- 
chanalian scene. 

"Come in, papa! Do!" cried Ida. "Won't 
you have a glass of champagne?" 

"Pray excuse me," said her father, coldly, 
"I feel that I am intruding. I did not know 
that you were entertaining Perhaps you will 
kindly let me know when you have finished. 
You will find me in my study." He ignored 
the two young men completely, and, closing the 
door, retired, deeply hurt and mortified, to his 
room. A quarter of an hour afterwards he 
heard the door slam, and his two daughters 
came to announce that the guests were gone. 

"Guests! Whose guests?" he cried angrily. 
"What is the meaning of this exhibition?" 

"We have been giving a little supper, papa. 
They were our guests." 

"Oh, indeed!" The Doctor laughed sarcas- 
tically. "You think it right, then, to entertaia 


young bachelors late at night, to smoke and 

drink with them, to Oh, that I should ever 

have lived to blush for my own daughters! I 
thank God that your dear mother never saw the 
day. " 

"Dearest papa," cried Clara, throwing her 
arms about him. "Do not be angry with us. 
If you understood all, you would see that there 
is no harm in it." 

"No harm, miss! Who is the best judge of 

"Mrs. Westmacott," suggested Ida, slyly. 

The Doctor sprang from his chair. "Con- 
found Mrs. Westmacott!" he cried, striking 
frenziedly into the air with his hands. "Am I 
to hear of nothing but this woman? Is she to 
confront me at every turn? I will endure it no 
longer. " 

"But it was your wish, papa." 

"Then I will tell you now what my second 
and wiser wish is, and we shall see if you will 
obey it as you have the first." 

"Of course we will, papa." 

"Then my wish is, that you should forget 
these odious notions which you have imbibed, 
that you should dress and act as you used to do, 
before ever you saw this woman, and that, in 
future, you confine your intercourse with her 
to such civilities as are necessary between 


"We are to give up Mrs. Westmacott?" 

"Or give up me. " 

"Oh, dear dad, how can you say anything so 
cruel?" cried Ida, burrowing her towsy golden 
hair into her father's shirt front, while Clara 
pressed her cheek against his whisker. "Of 
s:ourse we shall give her up, if you prefer it." 

"Of course we shall, papa. " 

The Doctor patted the two caressing heads. 
"These are my own two girls again, " he cried. 
"It has been my fault as much as yours. I 
have been astray, and you have followed me 
in my error. It was only by seeing your mis- 
take that I have become conscious of my own. 
Let us set it aside, and neither say nor think 
anything more about it." 



So by the cleverness of two girls a dark cloud 
was thinned away and turned into sunshine. 
Over one of them, alas, another cloud was 
gathering, which could not be so easily dis- 
persed. Of these three households which fate 
had thrown together, two had already been 
united by ties of love. It was destined, how- 
ever, that a bond of another sort should connect 
the Westmacotts with the Hay Denvers. 


Between the Admiral and the widow a very 
cordial feeling had existed since the day when 
the old seaman had hauled down his flag and 
changed his opinions; granting to the yachts- 
woman all that he had refused to the reformer. 
His own frank and downright nature respected 
the same qualities in his neighbor, and a friend- 
ship sprang up between them which was more 
like that which exists between two men, founded 
upon esteem and a community of tastes. 

"By the way, Admiral, ,, said Mrs. Westma- 
cott one morning, as they walked together 
down to the station, "I understand that this 
boy of yours in the intervals of paying his de- 
votions to Miss Walker is doing something 
upon 'Change." 

"Yes, ma'am, and there is no man of his age 
who is doing so well. He's drawing, ahead, I 
can tell you, ma'am. Some of those that 
started with him are hull down astarn now. 
He touched his five hundred last year, and 
before he's thirty he'll be making the four fig- 
ures." ' 

"The reason I asked is that I have small in- 
vestments to make myself from time to time, 
and my present broker is a rascal. I should be 
very glad to do it through your son. " 

"It is very kind of you, ma'am. His partner 
is away on a holiday, and Harold would like 
to push on a bit and show what he can do. 


You know the poop isn't big enough to hol$ 
the lieutenant when the skipper's on shore." 

"I suppose he charges the usual half per 

"Don't know, I'm sure, ma'am. I'll swear 
that he does what is right and proper." 

"That is what I usually pay — ten shillings in 
the hundred pounds. If you see him before I 
do just ask him to get me five thousand in New 
Zealands. It is at four just now, and I fancy 
it may rise." 

"Five thousand!" exclaimed the Admiral, 
reckoning it in his own mind. "Lemme see! 
That's twenty -five pounds commission. A nice 
day's work, upon my word. It is a very hand- 
some order, ma'am." 

"Well, I must pay some one, and why not 

"I'll tell him, and I'm sure he'll lose no time." 

"Oh, there is no great hurry. By the way, I 
understand from what you said just now that 
he has a partner." 

"Yes, my boy is the junior partner. Pearson 
is the senior. I was introduced to him years 
ago, and he offered Harold the opening. Of 
course we had a pretty stiff premium to pay." 

Mrs. Westmacott had stopped, and was stand* 
ing very stiffly with her Red Indian face sven 
grimmer than usual. 

"Pearson?" said she. "Jeremiah Pearson! 1 * 

M The same." 


"Then it's all off," she cried. "You need not 
carry out that investment. " 

"Very well, ma'am." 

They walked on together side by side, she 
brooding over some thought of her own, and 
he a little crossed and disappointed at her ca- 
price and the lost commission for Harold. 

"I tell you what, Admiral," she exclaimed 
suddenly, "if I were you I should get your boy 
out of this partnership." 

"But why, madam?" 

"Because he is tied to one of the deepest, 
slyest foxes in the whole city of London." 

"Jeremiah Pearson, ma'am? What can you 
know of him? He bears a good name." 

"No one in this world knows Jeremiah Pear- 
son as I know him, Admiral. I warn you be- 
cause I have a friendly feeling both for you and 
for your son. The man is a rogue and you had 
best avoid him." 

"But these are only words, ma'am. Do you 
tell me that you know him better than the 
brokers and jobbers in the City?" 

"Man," cried Mrs. Westmacott, "will you 
allow that I know him when I tell you that my 
maiden name was Ada Pearson, and that Jere- 
miah is my only brother?" 

The Admiral whistled. "Whew!" cried he. 
"Now that I think of it, there is a likeness." 

"He is a man of iron, Admiral — a man with 


out a heart. I should shock you if I were to 
tell you what I have endured from my brother. 
My father's wealth was divided equally betweea 
us. His own share he ran through in five years, 
and he has tried since then by every trick of 
a cunning, low-minded man, by base cajolery, 
by legal quibbles, by brutal intimidation, to 
juggle me out of my share as well. There is 
no villainy of which the man is not capable. 
Oh, I know my brother Jeremiah. I know him 
and I am prepared for him." 

"This is all new to me, ma'am. 'Pon my 
word, I hardly know what to say to it. I thank 
you for having spoken so plainly. From what 
you say, this is a poor sort of consort for a man 
to sail with. Perhaps Harold would do well 
to cut himself adrift." 

"Without losing a day." 

"Well, we shall talk it over. You may be 
sure of that. But here we are at the station, 
so I will just see you into your carriage and 
then home to see what my wife says to the 

As he trudged homewards, thoughtful and 
perplexed, he was surprised to hear a shout be- 
hind him, and to see Harold running down the 
road after him. 

"Why, dad," he cried, "I have just come 
from town, and the first thing I saw was your 
back as you marched away, But you are such 


a quick walker that I had to run to catch you. * 

The Admiral's smile of pleasure had broken 
his stern face into a thousand wrinkles. "You 
are early to-day," said he. 

"Yes, I wanted to consult you." 

14 Nothing wrong?" 

"Oh no, only an inconvenience." 

"What is it, then?" 

"How much have we in our private account?" 

"Pretty fair. Some eight hundred, I think." 

"Oh, half that will be ample. It was rather 
thoughtless of Pearson." 

"What then?" 

"Well, you see, dad, when he went away 
upon this little holiday to Havre he left me to 
pay accounts and so on. He told me that there 
was enough at the bank for all claims. I had 
occasion on Tuesday to pay away two cheques, 
one for ^80, and the other for ^120, and here 
they are returned with a bank notice that we 
have already overdrawn to the extent of some 
hundreds. " 

The Admiral looked very grave. "What's the 
meaning of that, then?" he asked. 

"Oh, it can easily be set right. You see 
Pearson invests all the spare capital and keeps 
as small a margin as possible at the bank. 
Still it was too bad for him to allow me even 
to run a risk of having a cheque returned. I 
have written to him and demanded his authority 


to sell out some stock, and I have written an 
explanation to these people. In the meantime, 
however, I have had to issue several cheques; 
so I had better transfer part of our private ac- 
count to meet them." 

"Quite so, my boy. All that's mine is yours. 
But who do you think this Pearson is? He is 
Mrs. Westmacott's brother." 

"Really. What a singular thing! Well, I 
can see a likeness now that you mention it. 
They have both the same hard type of face." 

"She has been warning me against him — says 
he is the rankest pirate in London. I hope 
that it is all right, boy, and that we may not 
find ourselves in broken water." 

Harold had turned a little pale as he heard 
Mrs. Westmacott's opinion of his senior part- 
ner. It gave shape and substance to certain 
vague fears and suspicions of his own which 
had been pushed back as often as they obtruded 
themselves as being too monstrous and fantas- 
tic for belief. 

"He is a well-known man in the City, dad," 
said he. 

"Of course he is— of course he is. That is 
what I told her. They would have found him 
out there if anything had been amiss with him. 
Bless you, there's nothing so bitter as a fam- 
ily quarrel. Still it is just as well that you have 


written about this affair, for we may as well 
have all fair and aboveboard. " 

But Harold's letter to his partner was crossed 
by a letter from his partner to Harold. It lay 
awaiting him upon the breakfast table next 
morning, and it sent the heart into his mouth 
as he read it, and caused him to spring up 
from his chair with a white face and staring 

"My boy! My boy!" 

"I am ruined, mother— ruined!" He stood 
gazing wildly in front of him, while the sheet 
of paper fluttered down on the carpet. Then 
he dropped back into the chair, and sank his 
face into his hands. His mother had her arms 
round him in an instant, while the Admiral, 
with shaking fingers, picked up the letter from 
the floor and adjusted his glasses to read it. 

"My Dear Denver," it ran. "By the time 
that this reaches you I shall be out of the reach 
of yourself or of any one else who may desire an 
interview. You need not search for me, for I 
assure you that this letter is posted by a friend, 
and that you will have your trouble in vain if 
you try to find me. I am sorry to leave you 
in such a tight place, but one or other of us 
must be squeezed, and on the whole I prefer 
that it should be you. You'll find nothing in 
the bank, and about ;£i 3,000 unaccounted for. 
I'm not sure that the best thing you can do is 


fiot to realize what you can, and imitate your 
senior's example. If you act at once you may 
get clean away. If not, it's not only that you 
must put up your shutters, but I am afraid that 
this missing money could hardly be included 
as an ordinary debt, and of course you are le- 
gally responsible for it just as much as I am. 
Take a friend's advice and get to America. A 
young man with brains can always do some- 
thing out there, and you can live down this lit- 
tle mischance. It will be a cheap lesson if it 
teaches you to take nothing upon trust in bus- 
iness, and to insist upon knowing exactly what 
your partner is doing, however senior he may 
be to you. 

"Yours faithfully, 

"Jeremiah Pearson.** 

"Great Heavens!" groaned the Admiral, "he 
has absconded." 

"And left me both a bankrupt and a thief.'* 

"No, no, Harold," sobbed his mother. "All 

will be right. What matter about money I'* 

"Money, mother! It is my honor." 

"The boy is right. It is his honor, and my 

bonor, for his is mine. This is a sore trouble, 

mother, when we thought cur life's troubles 

were all behind us, but we will bear it as we 

have borne others." He held out his stringy 

hand* and the two old folk sat with fecwei 


grey heads, their fingers intertwined, strong m 
each other's love and sympathy. 

"We were too happy," she sighed. 

"But it is God's will, mother.'* 

"Yes, John, it is God's will." 

"And yet it is bitter to bear. I could have 
lost all, the house, money, rank — I could have 
borne it. But at my age — my honor — the honor 
of an admiral of the fleet." 

"No honor can be lost, John, where no dis- 
honor has been done. What have you done? 
What has Harold done? There is no question 
of honor. " 

The old man shook his head, but Harold had 
already called together his clear practical sense, 
which for an instant in the presence of this 
frightful blow had deserted him. 

"The mater is right, dad, " said he. "It is bad 
enough, Heaven knows, but we must not take 
too dark a view of it. After all, this insolent 
letter is in itself evidence that I had nothing 
to do with the schemes of the base villain who 
wrote it." 

"They may think it prearranged.** 

"They could not. My whole life cries out 
against the thought. They could not look me 
in the face and entertain it." 

"No, boy, not if they have eyes in their 
heads," cried the Admiral, plucking up cour- 
age at the sight of the flashing eyes and brave, 


defiant face. "We have the letter, and we have 
your character. We'll weather it yet between 
them. It's my fault from the beginning for 
choosing such a land-shark for your consort. 
God help me, I thought I was finding such an 
©pening for you." 

"Dear dad! How could you possibly know? 
As he says in his letter, it has given me a 
lesson. But he was so much older and so much 
more experienced, that it was hard for me to 
ask to examine his books. But we must waste 
no time. I must go to the City." 

"What will you do?" 

"What an honest man should do. I will 
write to all our clients and creditors, assemble 
them, lay the whole matter before them, read 
them the letter and put myself absolutely in 
their hands." 

"That's it, boy— yard-arm to yard-arm, and 
have it over." 

"I must go at once. " He put on his top-coat 
and his hat. "But 1 have ten minutes yet be- 
fore I can catch a train. There is one little 
thing which I must do before I start." 

He had caught sight through the long glass 
folding door of the gleam of a white blouse 
and a straw hat in the tennis ground. Clara 
used often to meet him there of a morning to 
say a few, words before he hurried away into 
the City. He walked out now with the quick, 


firm step of a man who has taken a momentous 
resolution, but his face was haggard and his 
lips pale. 

"Clara," said he, as she came towards him 
with words of greeting, "I am sorry to bring 
ill news to you, but things have gone wrong in 
the City, and — and I think that I ought to re- 
lease you from your engagement." 

Clara stared at him with her great question- 
ing dark eyes, and her face became as pale as 

"How can the City affect you and me, Har- 

"It is dishonor. I cannot ask you to share 

"Dishonor! The loss of some miserable gold 
and silver coins!" 

"Oh, Clara, if it were only that! We could 
be far happier together in a little cottage in 
the country than with all the riches of the City. 
Poverty could not cut me to the heart, as I 
have been cut this morning. Why, it is but 
twenty minutes since I had the letter, Clara, 
and it seems to me to be some old, old thing 
which happened far away in my past life, some 
horrid black cloud which shut out all the fresh* 
ness and the peace from it." 

"But what is it, then? What do you fear 
Worse than poverty?" 

To have debts that I cannot meet. To bo 


hammered upon 'Change and declared a bank- 
rupt. To know that others have a just claim 
upon me and to feel that I dare not meet their 
eyes. Is not that worse than poverty?" 

"Yes, Harold, a thousand fold worse! But 
all this may be got over. Is there nothing 

"My partner has fled and left me responsible 
for heavy debts, and in such a position that I 
may be required by the law to produce some at 
least of this missing money. It has been con- 
fided to him to invest, and he has embezzled it* 
I, as his partner, am liable for it. I have 
brought misery on all whom I love — my father, 
my mother. But you at least shall not be un- 
der the shadow. You are free, Clara. There 
is no tie between us." 

"It takes two to make such a tie, Harold,** 
said she, smiling and putting her hand inside 
his arm. "It takes two to make it, dear, and 
also two to break it. Is that the way they do 
business in the City, sir, that a man can always 
at his own sweet will tear up his engagement V 9 

"You hold me to it, Clara?" 

"No creditor so remorseless as I, Harold. 
Never, never shall you get from that bond.* 

"But I am ruined. My whole life is blasted." 

"And so you wish to ruin me, and blast my 
life also. No indeed, sir, you shall not get 
away so lightly. But seriously now, Harold, 


you would hurt me if it were not so absurd. 
Do you think that a woman's love is like this 
sunshade which I carry in my hand, a thing 
only fitted for the sunshine, and of no use when 
the winds blow and the clouds gather?" 

"I would not drag you down, Clara." 

"Should I not be dragged down indeed if I 
left your side at such a time? It is only now 
that I can be of use to you, help you, sustain 
you. You have always been so strong, so above 
me. You are strong still, but then two will be 
stronger. Besides, sir, you have no idea what 
a woman of business I am. Papa says so, and 
he knows." 

Harold tried to speak, but his heart was toa 
full. He could only press the white hand which 
curled round his sleeve. She walked up and 
down by his side, prattling merrily, and send- 
ing little gleams of cheeriness through the 
gloom which girt him in. To listen to her he 
might have thought that it was Ida, and not 
her staid and demure sister, who was chatting 
to him. 

"It will soon be cleared up," she said, "and 
then we shall feel quite dull. Of course all 
business men have these little ups and downs. 
Why, I suppose of all the men you meet upon 
'Change, there is not one who has not some 
such story to tell. If everything was always 
smooth, you know, then of course svery one 


«*ould turn stockbroker, and you would have 
to hold your meetings in Hyde Park. How 
much is it that you need?" 

"More than I can ever get. Not less than 
thirteen thousand pounds." 

Clara's face fell as she heard the amount. 
"What do you purpose doing?" 

"I shall go to the City now, and I shall ask 
all our creditors to meet me to-morrow. I shall 
read them Pearson's letter, and put myself into 
their hands." 

"And they, what will they do?" 

"What can they do? They will serve writs 
for their money, and the firm will be declared 
bankrupt. " 

"And the meeting will be to-morrow, you 
say. Will you take my advice?" 

"What is it, Clara?" 

"To ask them for a few days of delay. Who 
knows what new turn matters may take?" 

"What turn can they take? I have no means 
©f raising the money. " 

"Let us have a few days." 

"Oh, we should have that in the ordinary 
course of business. The legal formalities would 
take them some little time. But I must go, 
Clara, I must not seem to shirk. My place now 
must be at my offices." 

"Yes, dear, you are right. God bless you 
and guard you! I shall be here in The Wilder* 


ness, but all day I shall be by your office table 
at Throgmorton Street in spirit, and if ever 
you should be sad you will hear my little whis- 
per in your ear, and know that there is one 
client whom you will never be able to get rid 
of— never as long as we both live, dear," 



"Now, papa," said Clara that morning, wrin- 
Elfng her brows and putting her finger-tips to- 
gether with the air of an experienced person of 
business, "I want to have a talk to you about 
*noney matters." 

"Yes, my dear." He laid down his paper, 
and looked a question. 

"Kindly tell me again, papa, how much 
money I have in my very own right. You have 
often told me before, but I always forget fig- 
ures. " 

"You have two hundred and fifty pounds a 
year of your own, under your aunt's will." 

"And Ida?" 

"Ida has one hundred and fifty.* 

"Now, I think I can live very well on fifty 
pounds a year, papa. I am not very extrava- 


gant, and I could make my own dresses if I 
had a sewing-machine." 

"Very likely, dear." 

"In that case I have two hundred a year 
which I could do without." 

"If it were necessary." 

"But it is necessary. Oh, do help me, like a 
good, dear, kind papa, in this matter, for my 
whole heart is set upon it. Harold is in sore 
need of money, and through no fault of his 
own." With a woman's tact and eloquence, 
she told the whole story. "Put yourself in my 
place, papa. What is the money to me? I 
never think of it from year's end to year's end. 
But now I know how precious it is. I could 
not have thought that money could be so val- 
uable. See what I can do with it. It may help 
to save him. I must have it by to-morrow. 
Oh, do, do advise me as to what I should do, 
and how I should get the money." 

The Doctor smiled at her eagerness. "You 
are as anxious to get rid of money as others 
are to gain it," said he. "In another case I 
might think it rash, but I believe in your Har- 
old, and I can see that he has had villainous 
treatment. You will let me deal with the mat- 

"You, papa?" 

"It can be done best between men. Your cap- 
ital, Clara, is some five thousand pounds, but 


it is out on a mortgage, and you could not 
call it in. M 

"Oh, dear! oh, dear!" 

"But we can still manage. I have as much 
at my bank. I will advance it to the Denvers 
as coming from you, and you can repay it to 
me, or the interest of it, when your money be- 
comes due." 

"Oh, that is beautiful! How sweet and kind 
cf you!" 

"But there is one obstacle: I do not think 
that you would ever induce Harold to take this 
money. M 

Clara's face fell. "Don't you think so, re- 

"I am sure that he would not." 

"Then what are you to do? What horrid 
things money matters are to arrange!" 

"I shall see his father. We can manage it all 
between us." 

"Oh, do, do, papa! And you will do it 

"There is no time like the present. I will 
go in at once." He scribbled a cheque, put it 
in an envelope, put on his broad straw hat, and 
strolled in through the garden to pay his morn- 
ing call. 

It was a singular sight which met his eyes as 
he entered the sitting-room of the Admiral. A 
gXQ&t sea chest stood open in the center, and all 


round upon the carpet were little piles of jer- 
seys, oil-skins, books, sextant boxes, instruments, 
and sea-boots. The old seaman sat gravely 
amidst this lumber, turning it over, and examin- 
ing it intently ; while his wife, with the tears 
running silently down, her ruddy cheeks, sat upon 
the sofa, her elbows upon her knees and her chin 
upon her hands, rocking herself slowly backwards 
and forwards. 

"Hullo, Doctor," said the Admiral, holding 
out his hand, "there's foul weather set in upon 
us, as you may have heard, but I have ridden 
out many a worse squall, and, please God, we 
shall all three of us weather this one also, 
though two of us are a little more cranky than 
we were." 

"My dear friends, I came in to tell you how 
deeply we sympathize with you all. My girl has 
only just told me about it." 

"It has come so suddenly upon us, Doctor," 
sobbed Mrs. Hay Denver. "I thought that I 
had John to myself for the rest of our lives — 
Heaven knows that we have not seen very much 
of each other — but now he talks of going to sea 

"Aye, aye, Walker, that's the only way out 
of it. When I first heard of it I was thrown 
up in the wind with all I give you -my 
word that I lost my bearings more completely 
than ever since I strapped a middy's dirk in 


my belt. You see, friend, I know something of 
shipwreck or battle or whatever may come 
upon the waters, but the shoals in the City of 
London on which my poor boy has struck are 
clean beyond me. Pearson had been my pilot 
there, and now I know him to be a rogue. But 
I've taken my bearings now, and I see my 
course right before me." 

"What then, Admiral ?" 

"Oh, I have one or two little plans. I'll 
have some news for the boy. Why, hang it, 
Walker, man, I may be a bit stiff in the joints, 
but you'll be my witness that I can do my 
twelve miles under the three hours. What then ? 
My eyes are as good as ever except just for the 
newspaper. My head is clear. I'm three and 
sixty, but I'm as good a man as ever I was — 
too good a man to lie up for another ten years. 
I'd be the better for a smack of the salt water 
again, and a whiff of the breeze. Tut, mother, 
it's not a four years' cruise this time. I'll be 
back every month or two. It's no more than 
if I went for a visit in the country." He was 
talking boisterously, and heaping his sea-boots 
and sextants back into his chest. 

"And you really think, my dear friend, of 
hoisting your pennant again?" 

"My pennant, Walker? No, no. Her Maj- 
esty, God bless her, has too many young men to 
need an old hulk like me. I should be plain 


Mr. Hay Denver, of the merchant service. I 
daresay that I might find some owner who 
would give me a chance as second or third 
officer. It will be strange to me to feel the 
rails of the bridge under my fingers once more. " 

"Tut! tut! this will never do, this will never 
do, Admiral!" The Doctor sat down by Mrs. 
Hay Denver and patted her hand in token of 
friendly sympathy. "We must wait until your 
son has had it out with all these people, and 
then we shall know what damage is done, and 
how best to set it right. It will be time enough 
then to begin to muster our resources to meet 

"Our resources!" The Admiral laughed. 
"There 7 s the pension. I'm afraid, Walker, 
that our resources won't need much mustering. " 

"Oh, come, there are some which you may 
not have thought of. For example, Admiral, 
I had always intended that my girl should 
have five thousand from me when she married. 
Of course your boy's trouble is her trouble, 
and the money cannot be spent better than in 
helping to set it right. She has a little of her 
own which she wished to contribute, but I 
thought it best to work it this way. Will you 
take the cheque, Mrs. Denver, and I think it 
would be best if you said nothing to Harold 
about it, and just used it as the occasion 


"God bless you, Walker, you are a true friend. 
I won't forget this, Walker." The Admiral sat 
down on his sea chest and mopped his brow 
with his red handkerchief. 

"What is it to me whether you have it now 
or then? It may be more useful now. There's 
only one stipulation. If things should come to 
the worst, and if the business should prove so 
bad that nothing can set it right, then hold 
back this cheque, for there is no use in pour- 
ing water into a broken basin, and if the lad 
should fall, he will want something to pick 
himself up again with." 

"He shall not fall, Walker, and you shall 
not have occasion to be ashamed of the family 
into which your daughter is about to marry. 
I have my own plan. But we shall hold your 
money, my friend, and it will strengthen us to 
feel that it is there." 

"Well, that is all right," said Doctor 
Walker, rising. "And if a little more should 
be needed, we must not let him go wrong for 
the want of a thousand or two. And now, Ad- 
miral, I'm off for my morning walk. Won't 
you come too?" 

"No, I am going into town." 

"Well, good-bye. I hope to have better news, 
and that all will come right Good-bye, Mrs. 
Denver. I feel as if the boy were my own, and 
Z shall not be easy until all is right with him." 



When Doctor Walker had departed, the Ad- 
miral packed all his possessions back into his 
sea chest with the exception of one little brass- 
bound desk. This he unlocked, and took from 
it a dozen or so blue sheets of paper all mot- 
tled over with stamps and seals, with very large 
V. R.'s printed upon the heads of them. He 
tied these carefully into a small bundle, and 
placing them in the inner pocket of his coat, he 
seized his stick and hat. 

"Oh, John, don't do this rash thing," cried 
Mrs. Denver, laying her hands upon his sleeve. 
"I have seen so little of you, John. Only three 
years since you left the service. Don't leave 
me again. I know it is weak of me, but I can- 
not bear it." 

"There's my own brave lass," said he, 
smoothing down the grey- shot hair. "We've 
lived in honor together, mother, and please 
God in honor we'll die. Nc matter how debts 
are made, they have got to be met, and what 
the boy owes we owe. He has not the money, 
and how is he to find it? He can't find it. 
What then? It becomes my business asd 
there's only one way for it." 


"But it may not be so very bad, John. Had 
we not best wait until after he sees these peo- 
ple to-morrow?" 

"They may give him little time, lass. But 
I'll have a care that I don't go so far that I 
can't put back again. Now, mother, there's 
no use holding me. It's got to be done, and 
there's no sense in shirking it." He detached 
her fingers from his sleeve, pushed her gently 
back into an arm-chair, and hurried from the 

In less than half an hour the Admiral was 
whirled into Victoria Station and found himself 
amid a dense bustling throng, who jostled and 
pushed in the crowded terminus. His errand, 
which had seemed feasible enough in his own 
room, began now to present difficulties in the 
carrying out, and he puzzled over how he 
should take the first steps. Amid the stream 
of business men, each hurrying on his definite 
way, the old seaman in his grey tweed suit and 
black soft hat strode slowly along, his head sunk 
and his brow wrinkled in perplexity. Suddenly 
an idea occurred to him. He walked back to 
the railway stall and bought a daily paper. 
This he turned and turned until a certain col- 
umn met his eye, when he smoothed it out, 
and carrying it over to a seat, proceeded to 
read it at his leisure. 

&&&, indeed, as a man read that column* it 


seeifcdd strange to him that there should still 
remain any one in this world of ours who 
should be in straits for want of money. Here 
were whole lines of gentlemen who were bur- 
dened with a surplus in their incomes, and 
who were loudly calling to the poor and needy 
to come and take it off their hands. Here was 
the guileless person who was not a professional 
moneylender, but who would be glad to cor- 
respond, etc. Here too was the accommodating 
individual who advanced sums from ten to ten 
thousand pounds without expense, security, or 
delay. "The money actually paid over within 
a few hours, " ran this fascinating advertise- 
ment, conjuring up a vision of swift messengers 
rushing with bags of gold to the aid of the 
poor struggler. A third gentleman did all bus- 
iness by personal application, advanced money 
on anything or nothing; the lightest and air- 
iest promise was enough to content him accord- 
ing to his circular, and finally he never asked 
for more than five per cent. This struck the 
Admiral as far the most promising, and his 
wrinkles relaxed, and his frown softened away 
as he gazed at it. He folded up the paper 
rose from the seat, and found himself face to 
face with Charles Westmacott. 

"Hullo, Admiral P 

"Hullo, Westmacott!" Charles had always 
been a favorite of the seaman's. "Whut are 
you doing here?" 


"Oh, I have been doing a little business fof 
my aunt. But I have never seen you in Lon- 
don before." 

"I hate the place. It smothers me. There's 
not a breath of clean air on this side of Green- 
wich. But maybe you know your way about 
pretty well in the City?" 

"Well, I know something about it. You see 
I've never lived very far from it, and I do a 
good deal of my aunt's business." 

"Maybe you know Bread Street?" 

"It is out of Cheapside." 

"Well then, how do you steer for it from 
here? You make me out a course and I'll 
keep to it." 

"Why, Admiral, I have nothing to do. I'll 
take you there with pleasure." 

"Will you, though? Well, I'd take it very 
kindly if you would. I have business there. 
Smith and Hanbury, financial agents, Bread 

The pair made their way to the river-side, 
and so down the Thames to St. Paul's landing 
— a mode of travel which was much more to 
the Admiral's taste than 'bus or cab. On the 
way, he told his companion his mission and 
the causes which had led to it. Charles West- 
macott knew little enough of City life and the 
ways of business, but at least he had more ex- 
perience in both than the Admiral, and he made 


Up his mind not to leave him until the matter 
was settled. 

'These are the people," said the Admiral, 
twisting round his paper, and pointing to the 
advertisement which had seemed to him the 
most promising. "It sounds honest and above- 
board, does it not? The personal interview 
looks as if there were no trickery, and then no 
one could object to five per cent." 

"No, it seems fair enough. " 

"It is not pleasant to have to go hat in hand 
borrowing money, but there are times, as you 
may find before you are my age, Westmacott, 
when a man must stow away his pride. But 
here's their number, and their plate is on the 
corner of the door." 

A narrow entrance was flanked on either side 
by a row of brasses, ranging upwards from the 
shipbrokers and the solicitors who occupied the 
ground floors, through a long succession of 
West Indian agents, architects, surveyors, and 
brokers, to the firm of which they were in quest. 
A winding stone stair, well carpeted and railed 
at first but growing shabbier with every land- 
ing, brought them past innumerable doors until, 
at last, just under the ground-glass roofing, the 
names of Smith and Hanbury were to be seen 
painted in large white letters across a panel, 
with a laconic invitation to push beneath it. 
Following out the suggestion, the Admiral an* 


his companion found themselves in a dingy 
apartment, ill lit from a couple of glazed win- 
dows. An ink-stained table, littered with pens, 
papers, and almanacs, an American cloth sofa, 
three chairs of varying patterns, and a much- 
worn carpet, constituted all the furniture, save 
only a very large and obtrusive porcelain spit- 
toon, and a r gaudily framed and very somber 
picture which hung above the fireplace. Sitting 
in front of this picture, and staring gloomily 
at it, as being the only thing which he could 
stare at, was a small sallow-faced boy with a 
large head, who in the intervals of his art stud- 
ies munched sedately at an apple. 

"Is Mr. Smith or Mr. Hanbury in?" asked 
the Admiral. 

"There ain't no such people," said the small 

"But you have the names on the door." 

"Ah, that is the name of the firm, you see. 
It's only a name. It's Mr. Reuben Metaxa 
that you wants." 

"Well then, is he in?" 

"No, he's not." 

"When will he be back?" 

"Can't tell, I'm sure. He's gone to lunch. 
Sometimes he takes one hour, and sometimes 
two. It'll be two to-day, I 'spect, for he said 
he was hungry afore he went. " 

"Then I suppose that we had better call 
again," said the Admiral. 


"Not a bit, " cried Charles. "I know how to 
manage these little imps. See here, you young 
varmint, here's a shilling for you. Run off 
and fetch your master. If you don't bring him 
here in five minutes I'll clump you on the side 
of the head when you get back. Shoo! Scat!" 
He charged at the youth, who bolted from the 
room and clattered madly down-stairs. 

"He'll fetch him," said Charles. "Let us 
make ourselves at home. This sofa does not 
feel over and above safe It was not meant for 
fifteen-stone men. But this doesn't look quite 
the sort of place where one would expect to 
pick up money." 

"Just what I was thinking, " said the Admiral, 
looking ruefully about him. 

"Ah, well! I have heard that the best fur- 
nished offices generally belong to the poorest 
firms. Let us hope it's the opposite here. 
They can't spend much on the management 
anyhow. That pumpkin-headed boy was the 
staff, I suppose. Ha, by Jove, that's his voice, 
and he's got our man, I think!" 

As he spoke the youth appeared in the door- 
way with a small, brown, dried-up little chip 
of a man at his heels. He was clean-shaven 
and blue-chinned, with bristling black hair, 
and keen brown eyes which shone out very 
brightly from between pouched under-lids and 
drooping upper ones. He advanced, glancing 


keenly from one to the other of his visitors, 
and slowly rubbing together his thin, blue- 
veined hands. The small boy closed the door 
behind him, and discreetly vanished. 

"I am Mr. Reuben Metaxa, " said the money- 
lender. "Was it about an advance you wished 
to see me?" 


"For you, I presume?" turning to Charles 

"No, for this gentleman." 

The money-lender looked surprised. "How 
much did you desire?" 

"I thought of five thousand pounds," said 
the Admiral. 

"And on what security?" 

"I am a retired admiral of the British navy. 
You will find my name in the Navy List. There 
is my card. I have here my pension papers. 
I get ^850 a year. I thought that perhaps if 
you were to hold these papers it would be secu- 
rity enough that I should pay you. You could 
draw my pension, and repay yourselves at the 
rate, say, of ^500 a year, taking your five per 
cent interest as well. 

"What interest?" 

"Five per cent per anni'm." 

Mr. Metaxa laughed. "Per annum!" he said. 
"Five per cent a month. " 

"A month! That would be sixty per cent a 


"Precisely. " 

"But that is monstrous." 

"I don't ask gentlemen to come to me. They 
come of their own free will. Those are my 
terms, and they can take it or leave it. " 

"Then I shall leave it." The Admiral rose 
angrily from his chair. 

"But one moment, sir. Just sit down and 
we shall chat the matter over. Yours is a rather 
unusual case and we may find some other way 
of doing what you wish. Of course the security 
which you offer is no security at all, and no 
sane man would advance five thousand pennies 
on it." 

"No security? Why not, sir?" 

"You might die to-morrow. You are not a 
young man. What age are you?" 

"Sixty-three. " 

Mr. Metaxa turned over a long column of 
figures. "Here is an actuary's table," said he. 
"At your time of life the average expectancy of 
life is only a few years even in a well-preserved 

"Do you mean to insinuate that I am not a 
well-preserved man?" 

"Well, Admiral, it is a trying life at sea. 
Sailors in their younger days are gay dogs s and 
take it out of themselves. Then when they 
grow older thy are still hard at it, and have no 
chance of rest or peace. I do not think a sail- 
Ox's life a good one." 


"I'll tell you what, sir," said the Admiral 
hotly. "If you have two pairs of gloves I'll 
undertake to knock you out under three rounds. 
Or I'll race you from here to St. Paul's, and 
my friend here will see fair. I'll let you see 
whether I am an old man or not. " 

"This is beside the question, " said the money- 
lender with a deprecatory shrug. "The point 
is that if you died to-morrow where would be 
the security then?" 

"I could insure my life, and make the policy 
over to you." 

"Your premiums for such a sum, if any office 
would have you, which I very much doubt, 
would come to close on five hundred a year. 
That would hardly suit your book." 

"Well, sir, what do you intend to propose?" 
asked the Admiral. 

"I might, to accommodate you, work it in 
another way. I should send for a medical man, 
and have an opinion upon your life. Then I 
might see what could be done." 

"That is quite fair. I have no objection to 

"There is a very clever doctor in the street 
here. Proudie is his name. John, go and fetch 
Doctor Proudie." The youth was dispatched 
upon his errand, while Mr. Metaxa sat at his 
desk, trimming his nails, and shooting out lit- 
tle comments upon the weather. Presently fe«jt 


were heard upon the stairs, the moneylender 
hurried out, there was a sound of whispering, 
and he returned with a large, fat, greasy-look- 
ing man, clad in a much worn frock-coat, and 
a very dilapidated top hat. 

"Doctor Proudie, gentlemen," said Mr. 

The doctor bowed, smiled, whipped off his 
hat, and produced his stethoscope from its in- 
terior with the air of a conjurer upon the stage. 
"Which of these gentlemen am I to examine?" 
he asked, blinking from one to the other of 
them. "Ah, it is you! Only your waistcoat! 
You need not undo your collar. Thank you! 
A full breath! Thank you! Ninety-nine! 
Thank you! Now hold your breath for a mo- 
ment. Oh, dear, dear, what is this I hear?" 

"What is it then?" asked the Admiral coolly. 

"Tut! tut! This is a great pity. Have you 
had rheumatic fever?" 


"You have had some serious illness?" 


"Ah, you are an admiral. You have been 
abroad, tropics, malaria, ague — I know." 

"I have never had a day's illness." 

"Not to your knowledge; but you have in- 
haled unhealthy air, and it has left its effect. 
You have an organic murmur— slight but dis- 

"Is it dangerous?" 


"It might at any time become so. You should 
cot take violent exercise." 

"Oh, indeed. It would hurt me to run a half 

"It wou*d be very dangerous." 

"And a mile?" 

"Would be almost certainly fatal. " 

"Then there is nothing else the matter?" 

"No. But if the heart is weak, then every* 
thing is weak, and the life is not a sound one. M 

"You see, Admiral," remarked Mr. Metaxa, 
as the doctor secreted his stethoscope once 
more in his hat, "my remarks were not entirely 
uncalled for. I am sorry that the doctor's opin- 
ion is not more favorable, but this is a matter 
of business, and certain obvious precautions 
must be taken." 

"Of course. Then the matter is at an end." 

"Well, we might even now do business. I 
am most anxious to be of use to you. How 
long do you think, doctor, that this gentleman 
will in all probability live?" 

"Well, well, it's rather a delicate question to 
answer," said Mr. Proudie, with a show of em- 

"Not a bit, sir. Out with it! I have faced 
death too often to flinch from it now, though 
I saw it as near me as you are." 

"Well, well, we must go by averages of course. 
Shall we say two years? I should think that 
you have a full two years before you." 


"In two years your pension would bring you 
in ;£i,6oo. Now I will do my very best for 
you, Admiral! I will advance you ^2,000, and 
you can make over to me your pension for your 
life. It is pure speculation on my part. If 
you die to-morrow I lose my money. If the 
doctor's prophecy is correct I shall still be out 
of pocket. If you live a little longer, then I 
may see my money again. It is the very best 
I can do for you." 

"Then you wish to buy my pension?" 
"Yes, for two thousand down." 
"And if I live for twenty years?" 
"Oh, in that case of course my speculation 
would be more successful. But you have heard 
the doctor's opinion." 

"Would you advance the money instantly?" 
"You should have a thousand at once. The 
other thousand I should expect you to take in 
furniture. " 

"In furniture?" 
I "Yes, Admiral. We shall do you a beautiful 
houseful at that sum. It is the custom of my 
clients to take half in furniture." 

The Admiral sat in dire perplexity. He had 
come out to get money, and to go back with- 
out any, to be powerless to help when his boy 
needed every shilling to save him from disaster, 
that would be very bitter to him. On the other 
hspid, it was so much that he surrendered, and 

144 &8Y0M& nm arr 

60 little that he received. Little, a?sd yet 
something. Would it not be better than going 
back empty-handed ? He saw the yellow backed 
cheque-book upon the table. The moneylender 
opened it and dipped his pen into the ink. 

"Shall I fill it up?" said he. 

"I think, Admiral," remarked Westmacott, 
"that we had better have a little walk and 
Some luncheon before we settle this matter. " 

"Oh, we may as well do it at once. It would 
be absurd to postpone it now," Metaxa spoke 
with some heat, and his eyes glinted angrily 
from between his narrow lids at the impertur- 
bable Charles. The Admiral was simple in money 
matters, but he had seen much of men and had 
learned to read them. He saw that venomous 
glance, and saw too that intense eagerness was 
peeping out from beneath the careless air which 
the agent had assumed. 

"You're quite right, Westmacott," said he* 
"We'll have a little walk before we settle it." 

"But I may not be here this afternoon." 

"Then we must choose another day." 

"But why not settle it now?" 

"Because I prefer not," said the Admiral 

"Very well. But remember that my offer is 
only for to-day. It is off unless you take it ©t 
©nee. " 

"Let it be off, thea." 


"There* s my fee," cried the doctor. 

"How much?" 

"A guinea." 

The Admiral threw a pound and a shilling 
upon the table. "Come, Westmacott," said he, 
and they walked together from the room. 

"I don't like it," said Charles, when they 
found themselves in the street once more; "I 
don't profess to be a very sharp chap, but this 
is a trifle too thin. What did he want to go 
out and speak to the doctor for? And how 
very convenient this tale of a weak heart was! 
I believe they are a couple of rogues, and in 
league with each other." 

'A shark and a pilot fish, " sai^ the Admiral. 

"I'll tell you what I propose, sir. There's 
a lawyer named McAdam who does my aunt's 
business. He is a very honest fellow, and lives 
at the other side of Poultry. We'll go over to 
him together and have his opinion about the 
whole matter." 

"How far is it to his place?" 

"Oh, a mile at least. We can have a cab." 

"A mile? Then we shall see if there is any 
truth in what that swab of a doctor said. 
Come, my boy, and clap on all sail, and see 
who can stay the longest." 

Then the sober denizens of the heart of bus- 
iness London saw a singular sight as they 
returned from their luncheons. Down the road- 


way, dodging among cabs and carts, ran a 
weather-stained elderly man, with wide flapping 
black hat, and homely suit of tweeds. With 
elbows braced back, hands clenched near his 
armpits, and chest protruded, he scudded along, 
while close at his heels lumbered a large-limbed, 
heavy, yellow mustached young man, who 
seemed to feel the exercise a good deal more 
than his senior. On they dashed, helter- skelter, 
until they pulled up panting at the office where 
the lawyer of the Westmacotts was to be found. 

"There now!" cried the Admiral in triumph. 
"What d'ye think of that? Nothing wrong in 
the engine-room, eh?" 

"You seem fit enough, sir." 

"Blessed if I believe the swab was a certifi- 
cated doctor at all. He was flying false colors, 
or I am mistaken." 

"They keep the directories and registers in 
this eating-house," said Westmacott. "We'll 
go and look him out." 

They did so, but the medical rolls contained 
no such name as that of Dr. Proudie, of Bread 

"Pretty villainy this!" cried the Admiral, 
thumping his chest. "A dummy doctor and 
a vamped up disease. Well, we've tried the 
rogues, Westmacott! Let us see what we can 
do with your honest man." 



Mr. McAdam, of the firm of McAdam and 
Squire, was a highly polished man who dwelt 
behind a highly polished table in the neatest 
and snuggest of offices. He was white-haired 
and amiable, with a deep-lined aquiline face, 
was addicted to low bows, and indeed, always 
seemed to carry himself at half-cock, as though 
just descending into one, or just recovering 
himself. He wore a high-buckled stock, took 
snuff, and adorned his conversation with little 
scraps from the classics. 

"My dear sir," said he, when he had listened 
to their story, "any friend of Mrs. Westma- 
cott's is a friend of mine. Try a pinch. I 
wonder that you should have gone to this man 
Metaxa. His advertisement is enough to con- 
demn him. Habet fcenum in cornu. They are 
all rogues." 

"The doctor was a rogue too. I didn't like 
the look of him at the time." 

"Arcades ambo. But now we must see what 

we can do for you. Of course what Metaxa 

said was perfectly right. The pension is in 

itself no security at all, unless it were accom- 




panied by a life assurance which would be ail 
income in itself. It is no good whatever.'* 
# His clients' faces fell. 

"But there is the second alternative. You 
might sell the pension right out. Speculative 
investors occasionally deal in such things. I 
have one client, a sporting man, who would be 
very likely to take it up if we could agree upon 
terms. Of course, I must follow Metaxa's ex- 
ample by sending for a doctor. 

For the second time was the Admiral punched 
and tapped and listened to. This time, how- 
ever, there could be no question of the qualifi- 
cations of the doctor, a well-known Fellow of 
the College of Surgeons, and his report was as 
favorable as the other's had been adverse. 

"He has the heart and chest of a man of 
forty," said he. "I can recommend his life as 
one of the best of his age that I have ever 
examined. " 

"That's well," said Mr. McAdam, making a 
note of the doctor's remarks, while the Admiral 
disbursed a second guinea. "Your price, I un- 
derstand, is five thousand pounds. I can com- 
municate with Mr. Elberry, my client, and let 
you know whether he cares to touch the matter. 
Meanwhile you can leave your pension papers 
here, and I will give you a receipt for them." 

"Very well. I should like the money soon. w 

"That is why I am retaining the papers. If 


I can see Mr. Elberry to-day we may let you 
have a cheque to-morrow. Try another pinch. 
No? Well, good-bye. I am very happy to 
have been of service." Mr. McAdam bowed 
them out, for he was a very busy man, and 
they found themselves in the street once more 
with lighter hearts than when they had left it. 

"Well, Westmacott, I am sure I am very 
much obliged to you," said the Admiral. "You 
have stood by me when I was the better for 
a little help, for I'm clean out of my soundings 
among these city sharks. But I've something 
to do now. which is more in my own line, and 
I need not trouble you any more." 

"Oh, it is no trouble. I have nothing to do. 
I never have anything to do. I don't suppose 
I could do it if I had. I should be delighted 
to come with you, sir, if I can be of any use." 

"No, no, my lad. You go home again. It 
would be kind of you, though, if you would 
look in at number one when you get back and 
tell my wife that all's well with me, and that 
I'll be back in an hour or so." 

"All right, sir. I'll tell her." Westmacott 
raised his hat and strode away to the west- 
ward, while the Admiral, after a hurried lunch, 
bent his steps towards the east. 

It was a long walk, but the old seaman swung 
along at a rousing pace, leaving street after 
street behind him. The grtat business places 


dwindled down into commonplace sheps and 
dwellings, which decreased and became more 
stunted, even as the folk who filled them did, 
until he was deep in the evil places of the east- 
ern end. It was a land of huge, dark houses 
and of garish gin-shops, a land, too, where 
life moves irregularly and where adventures are 
to be gained— as the Admiral was to learn to 
his cost. 

He was hurrying down one of the long, nar- 
row, stone-flagged lanes between the double lines 
of crouching, disheveled women and of dirty 
children who sat on the hollowed steps of the 
houses, and basked in the autumn sun. At 
one side was a barrowman with a load of wal- 
nuts, and beside the barrow a bedraggled wo- 
man with a black fringe and a chequered shawl 
thrown over her head. She was cracking wal- 
nuts and picking them out of the shells, throw- 
ing out a remark occasionally to a rough man in 
a rabbit-skin cap, with straps under the knees 
of his corduroy trousers, who stood puffing a 
black clay pipe with his back against the wall. 
What the cause of the quarrel was, or what 
sharp sarcasm from the woman's lips pricked 
suddenly through that thick skin may never be 
known, but suddenly the man took his pipe in 
his left hand, leaned forward, and deliberately 
struck her across the face with his right. It 
was a slap rather than a blow, but the woman 


gave a sharp cry and cowered up against the 
barrow with her hand to her cheek. 

"You infernal villain!" cried the Admiral, 
raising his stick. "You brute and blackguard!" 

"Garn!" growled the rough, with the deep 
rasping intonation of a savage. "Garn out o' 

this or I'll " He took a step forward with 

uplifted hand, but in an instant down came cut 
number three upon his wrist, and cut number 
five across his thigh, and cut number one full 
in the center of his rabbit-skin cap. It was 
not a heavy stick, but it was strong enough to 
leave a good red weal wherever it fell. The 
rough yelled with pain, and rushed in, hitting 
with both hands, and kicking with his iron- 
shod boots, but the Admiral had still a quick 
foot and a true eye, so that he bounded back- 
wards and sideways, still raining a shower of 
blows upon his savage antagonist. Suddenly, 
however, a pair of arms closed round his neck, 
and glancing backwards he caught a glimpse 
of the black coarse fringe of the woman whom 
he had befriended. "I've got him !" she shrieked. 
"I'll 'old 'im. Now, Bill, knock the tripe out 
of him!" Her grip was as strong as a man's, 
and her wrist pressed like an iron bar upon the 
Admiral's throat. He made a desperate effort 
to disengage himself, but the most that he 
could do was to swing her round, so as to place 
her between his adversary and himself. As it 


proved, it was the very best thing that he could 
have done. The rough, half- blinded and mad- 
dened by the blows which he had received, struck 
out with all his ungainly strength, just as his 
partner's head swung round in front of him. 
There was a noise like that of a stone hitting 
a wall, a deep groan, her grasp relaxed, and 
she dropped a dead weight upon the pavement, 
while the Admiral sprang back and raised his 
stick once more, ready either for attack or de- 
fense. Neither were needed, however, for at 
that moment there was a scattering of the 
crowd, and two police constables, burly and 
helmeted, pushed their way through the rabble. 
At the sight of them the rough took to his 
heels, and was instantly screened from view by 
a veil of his friends and neighbors. 

"I have been assaulted," panted the Admi- 
ral. "This woman was attacked and I had to 
defend her. rt 

"This is Bermondsey Sal," said one police 
officer, bending over the bedraggled heap of 
tattered shawl and dirty skirt. "She's got it 
hot this time." 

"He was a shortish man, thick, with a beard." 

"Ah, that's Black Davie. He's been up 
four times for beating her. He's about done 
the job now. If I were you I would let that 
sort settle their own little affairs, sir." 

"Do you think that a man who holds the 


Queen's commission will stand by and see a 
woman struck?" cried the Admiral indignantly. 

"Well, just as you like, sir. But you've lost 
your watch, I see." 

"My watch!" He clapped his hand to his 
waistcoat. The chain was hanging down in 
front, and the watch gone. 

He passed his hand over his forehead. "I 
would not have lost that watch for anything," 
said he. "No money could replace it. It was 
given me by the ship's company after our Afri- 
can cruise. It has an inscription." 

The policeman shrugged his shoulders. "It 
comes from meddling," said he. 

"What' 11 you give me if I tell yer where it 
is?" said a sharp-faced boy among the crowd. 
"Will you gimme a quid?" 


"Well, where's the quid?" 

The Admiral took a sovereign from his 
pocket. "Here it is." 

"Then 'ere's the ticker!" The boy pointed 
to the clenched hand of the senseless woman. 
A glimmer of gold shone out from between the 
fingers, and on opening them up, there was the 
Admiral's chronometer. This interesting vic- 
tim had throttled her protector with one hand, 
while she had robbed him with the other. 

The Admiral left his address with the police- 
man! satisfied that the woman was only stunned, 


not dead, and then set off upon his way once 
more, the poorer perhaps in his faith in human 
nature, but in very good spirits none the less. 
He walked with dilated nostrils and clenched 
hands, all glowing and tingling with the ex- 
citement of the combat, and warmed with the 
thought that he could still, when there was 
need, take his own part in a street brawl in 
spite of his three-score and odd years. 

His way now led towards the river-side re- 
gions, and a cleansing whiff of tar was to be 
detected in the stagnant autumn air. Men with 
the blue jersey and peaked cap of the boat- 
man, or the white ducks of the dockers, began 
to replace the cordurys and fustian of the la- 
borers. Shops with nautical instruments in 
the windows, rope and paint sellers, and slop 
shops with long rows of oilskins dangling from 
hooks, all proclaimed the neighborhood of the 
docks. The Admiral quickened his pace and 
straightened his figure as his surroundings be- 
came more nautical, until at last, peeping be- 
tween two high, dingy wharfs, he caught a 
glimpse of the mud -colored waters of the 
Thames, and of the bristle of masts and funnels 
which rose from its broad bosom. To the right 
lay a quiet street, with many brass plates upon 
either side, and wire blinds in all of the win- 
dows. The Admiral walked slowly down it 
until "The Saint Lawrence Shipping Company** 


caught his eye. He crossed the road, pushed 
open the door, and found himself in a low- 
ceilinged office, with a long counter at one 
end and a great number of wooden sections of 
ships stuck upon boards and plastered all over 
the walls. 

"Is Mr. Henry in?" asked the Admiral. 

"No, sir," answered an elderly man from a 
high seat in the corner. "He has not come into 
town to-day. I can manage any business you 
may wish seen to." 

"You don't happen to have a first or second 
officer's place vacant, do you?" 

The manager looked with a dubious eye at 
his singular applicant. 

M Do you hold certificates?" he asked. 

"I hold every nautical certificate there is." 

"Then you won't do for us." 

"Why not?" 

"Your age, sir." 

"I give you my word that I can see as well 
as ever, and am as good a man in every way." 

"I don't doubt it." 

"Why should my age be a bar, then?" 

"Well, I must put it plainly. If a man of 
your age, holding certificates, has not got past 
a second officer's berth, there must be a black 
mark against him somewhere. I don't know 
what it is, drink or temper, or want of judg- 
ment, but something there must be." 


"I assure you there is nothing, but I find 
myself stranded, and so have to turn to the old 
business again." 

"Oh, that's it," said the manager, with sus- 
picion in his eye. "How long were you in your 
last billet?" 

"Fifty-one years* " 


"Yes, sir, one-and-fifty years. " 

"In the same employ?" 


"Why, you must have begun as a child. " 

"I was twelve when I joined. " 

"It must be a strangely managed business," 
said the manager, "which allows men to leave 
it who have served for fifty years, and who are 
still as good as ever. Who did you serve?" 

"The Queen. Heaven bless her!" 

"Oh, you were in the Royal Navy. What 
rating did you hold?" 

"I am Admiral of the Fleet." 

The manager started, and sprang down from 
his high stool. 

"My name is Admiral Hay Denver. There 
is my card. And here are the records of my 
service. I don't, you understand, want to push 
another man from his billet; but if you should 
chance to have a berth open, I should be very 
glad of it. I know the navigation from the 
Cod Banks right up to Montreal a great deal 
better than I know the streets of London. " 


The astonished manager glanced over the 
blue papers which his visitor had handed him. 
"Won't you take a chair, Admiral?" said he. 

"Thank you! But I should be obliged if you 
would drop my title now. I told you because 
you asked me, but I've left the quarter-deck, 
and I am plain Mr. Hay Denver now." 

"May I ask," said the manager, "are you the 
same Denver who commanded at one time on 
the North American station?" 

"I did." 

"Then it was you who got one of our boats, 
the Comus, off the rocks in the Bay of Fundy? 
The directors voted you three hundred guineas 
as salvage, and you refused them." 

"It was an offer which should not have been 
ruade," said the Admiral sternly. 

"Well, it reflects credit upon you that you 
should think so. If Mr. Henry were here I am 
sure that he would arrange this matter for you 
at once. As it is, I shall lay it before the di- 
rectors to-day, and I am sure that they will be 
proud to have you in our employment, and, I 
hope, in some more suitable position than 
that which you suggest." 

"I am very much obliged to you, sir," said 
the Admiral, and started off again, well pleased, 
upon his homeward journey. 



Next day brought the Admiral a cheque for 
jQ 5,000 from Mr. McAdam, and a stamped 
agreement by which he made over his pension 
papers to the speculative inventor. It was not 
until he had signed and sent it off that the full 
significance of all that he had done broke upon 
him. He had sacrificed everything. His pen- 
sion was gone. He had nothing save only 
what he could earn. But the stout old heart 
never quailed. He waited eagerly for a letter 
from the Saint Lawrence Shipping Company, 
and in the meanwhile he gave his landlord a 
quarter's notice. Hundred pound a year houses 
would in future be a luxury which he could 
not aspire to. A small lodging in some inex- 
pensive part of London must be the substitute 
for his breezy Norwood villa. So be it, then! 
Better that a thousand fold than that his name 
should be associated with failure and disgrace. 

On that morning Harold Denver was to meet 
the creditors of the firm, and to explain the 
situation to them. It was a hateful task, a 
degrading task, but he set himself to do it with 
quiet resolution. At home they waited in in- 
tense anxiety to learn the result of the meet- 


ing. It was late before he returned, haggard 
and pale, like a man who has done and suffered 

"What's this board in front of the house?" 
he asked. 

"We are going to try a little change of 
scene," said the Admiral. "This place is neither 
town nor country But never mind that, boy. 
Tell us what happened in the City." 

"God help me! My wretched business is 
driving you out of house and home!" cried 
Harold, broken down by this fresh evidence of 
the effects of his misfortunes. "It is easier for 
me to meet my creditors than to see you two 
suffering so patiently for my sake." 

"Tut, tut!" cried the Admiral. "There's no 
suffering in the matter. Mother would rather 
be near the theaters. That's at the bottom 
of it, isn't it, mother? You come and sit down 
here between us and tell us all about it." 

Harold sat down with a loving hand in each 
of his. 

"It's not so bad as we thought," said he, 
"and yet it is bad enough. I have about ten 
days to find the money, but I don't know which 
way to turn for it. Pearson, however, lied, 
as usual, when he spoke of ;£i 3,000. The 
amount is not quite ^7,000." 

The Admiral clapped his hands. "I knew 
we should weather it after all! Hurrah, my 
boy! Hip, hip, hip, hurrah!" 


Harold gazed at him ia surprise, while the 
©Id seaman waved" his arm above his head and 
bellowed out three stentorian cheers. "Where 
am I to get seven thousand pounds from, dad?" 
he asked. 

"Never mind. You spin your yarn." 

"Well, they were very good and very kind, 
but of course they must have either their money 
or their money's worth. They passed a vote 
of sympathy with me, and agreed to wait ten 
days before they took any proceedings. Three 
of them, whose claim came to ^3,500, told me 
that if I would give them my personal I.O.U., 
and pay interest at the rate of five per cent, 
their amounts might stand over as long as I 
wished. That would be a charge of ^175 upon 
my income, but with economy I could meet it, 
and it diminishes the debt by one-half." 

Again the Admiral burst out cheering. 

"There remains, therefore, about ,£3,200, 
which has to be found within ten days. No 
man shall lose by me. I gave them my word 
in the room that if I worked my soul out of my 
body every one of them should be paid. I shall 
not spend a penny upon myself until it is done. 
But some of them can't wait. They are poos 
men themselves, and must have their money. 
They have issued a warrant for Pearson's ar- 
rest. But they think that he has got away to 
the States." 


•These men shall have their money," said 
the Admiral. 


"Yes, my boy, you don't know the resources 
of the family. One never does know until one 
tries. What have you yourself now?" 

"I have about a thousand pounds invested." 

"All right. And I have about as much 
more. There's a good start. Now, mother, it is 
your turn. What is that little bit of paper of 

Mrs. Denver unfolded it, and placed it upon 
Harold's knee. 

"Five thousand pounds!" he gasped. 

"Ah, but mother is not the only rich one. 
Look at this!" And the Admiral unfolded his 
cheque, and placed it upon the other knee. 

Harold gazed from one to the other in be- 
wilderment. "Ten thousand pounds!" he cried. 
"Good heavens! where did these come from?" 

"You will not worry any longer, dear," mur- 
mured his mother, slipping her arm round him. 

But his quick eye had caught the signature 
upon one of the cheques. "Doctor Walker!" he 
cried, flushing. "This is Clara's doing. Oh, 
dad, we cannot take this money. It would not 
be right nor honorable. " 

"No, boy, I am glad you think so. It is 
something, however, to have proved one's 
friend, for a real good friend he is. It was he 


who brought it in, though Clara sent him. But 
this other money wall be enough to cover every- 
thing, and it is all my own. " 

"Your own? Where did you get it, dad?" 

"Tut, tut! See what it is to have a City man 
to deal with. It is my own, and fairly earned, 
and that is enough." 

"Dear old dad!" Harold squeezed his gnarled 
hand. "And you, mother! You have lifted 
-the trouble from my heart. I feel another man. 
You have saved my honor, my good name, 
everything. I cannot owe you more, for I owe 
you everything already." 

So while the autumn sunset shone ruddily 
through the broad window these three sat to- 
gether hand in hand, with hearts which were 
too full to speak. Suddenly the soft thudding 
of tennis balls was heard, and Mrs. Westmacott 
bounded into view upon the lawn with bran- 
dished racket and short skirts fluttering in the 
breeze. The sight came as a relief to their 
strained nerves, and they burst all three into 
a hearty fit of laughter. / 

"She is playing with her nephew, " said Har- 
old at last. "The Walkers have not come out 
yet. I think that it would be well if you were 
to give me that cheque, mother, and I were to 
return it in person." 

"Certainly, Harold. I think it would be very 
aiee. " 


He went in through the garden. Clara and 
the Doctor were sitting together in thedining- 
xoom. She sprang to her feet at the sight of 

"Oh, Harold, I have been waiting for you 
so impatiently," she cried; "I saw you pass 
the front windows half an hour ago. I would 
have come in if I dared. Do tell us what has 
happened. " 

"I have come in to thank you both. How 
can I repay you for your kindness? Here is 
your cheque, Doctor. I have not needed it. I 
find that I can lay my hands on enough to pay 
my creditors." 

"Thank God!" said Clara fervently. 

"The sum is less than I thought, and our 
(resources considerably more. We have been 
able to do it with ease." 

"With ease!" The Doctor's brow clouded 
and his manner grew cold. "I think, Harold, 
ihat you would do better to take this money of 
mine, than to use that which seems to you to 
be gained with ease. " 

"Thank you, sir. If I borrowed from any 
ane it would be from you. But my father has 
this very sum, five thousand pounds, and, as I 
ttell him, I owe him so much that I have no 
sompunction about owing him more.* 

"No compunction! Surely there are some 
sacrifices which a son should not allow his 
parents to make," 


"Sacrifices! What do you mean?" 

"Is it possible that you do not know how this 
money has been obtained?" 

"I give you my word, Doctor Walker, that I 
have no idea. I asked my father, but he refused 
to tell me." 

"I thought not," said the Doctor, the gloom 
clearing from his brow. "I was sure that you 
were not a man who, to clear yourself from a 
little money difficulty, would sacrifice the hap- 
piness of your mother and the health of your 

"Good gracious! what do you mean?" 

"It is only right that you should know. That 
money represents the commutation of your 
father's pension. He has reduced himself to 
poverty, and intends to go to sea again to 
earn a living." 

"To sea again! Impossible!" 

"It is the truth. Charles Westmacott has 
told Ida. He was with him in the City when 
he took his poor pension about from dealer to 
dealer trying to sell it. He succeeded at last, 
and hence the money." 

"He has sold his pension!" cried Harold, 
with his hands to his face. "My dear old dad 
has sold his pension!" He rushed from the 
room, and burst wildly into the presence of his 
parents once more. "I cannot take it, father," 
he cried, "Better bankruptcy than that. Oh, 


if I had only known your plan! We must have 
back the pension* Oh, mother, mother, how 
could you think me capable of such selfishness? 
Give me the cheque, dad, and I will see this 
man to-night, for I would sooner die like a dog 
in the ditch than touch a penny of this money. " 



Now all this time, while the tragi-comedy oi 
life was being played in these three suburban 
Villas, while on a commonplace stage love and 
humor and fears and lights and shadows were 
so swiftly succeeding each other, and while 
these three families, drifted together by fate, 
were shaping each other's destinies and work- 
ing out in their own fashion the strange, intri- 
cate ends of human life, there were human 
eyes which watched over every stage of the per- 
formance, and which were keenly critical of 
every actor on it. Across the road beyond the 
green palings and the close-cropped lawn, be- 
hind the curtains of their creeper-framed win- 
dows, sat the two old ladies, Miss Bertha and 
Miss Monica Williams, looking out as from a 
private box at all that was being enacted be- 


fore them. The growing friendship of the three 
families, the engagement of Harold Denver 
with Clara Walker, the engagement of Charles 
Westmacott with her sister, the dangerous fas- 
cination which the widow exercised over the 
Doctor, the preposterous behavior of the 
Walker girls and the unhappiness which they 
had caused their father, not ne of these inci- 
dents escaped the notice of the two maiden 
ladies. Bertha the younger had a smile or a 
sigh for the lovers, Monica the elder a frown 
or a shrug for the elders. Every night they 
talked over what they had seen, and their own 
dull, uneventful life took a warmth and a color- 
ing from their neighbors as a blank wall reflects 
a beacon fire. 

And now it was destined that they should 
experience the one keen sensation of their later 
years, the one memorable incident from which 
all future incidents should be dated. 

It was on the very night which succeeded 
the events which have just been narrated, when 
suddenly into Monica William's head, as she 
tossed upon her sleepless bed, there shot a 
thought which made her sit up with a thrill 
and a gasp. 

"Bertha," said she, plucking at the shoulder 
of her sister, "I have left the front window 
open. " 

"No, Monica, surely not." Bertha sat up 
also, and thrilled in sympathy. 



"I am sure of it. You remember I had for- 
gotten to water the pots, and then I opened the 
window, and Jane called me about the jam, 
and I have never been in the room since." 

"Good gracious, Monica, it is a mercy that 
we have not been murdered in our beds. There 
was a house broken into at Forest Hill last 
Week. Shall we go down and shut it?" 

"I dare not go down alone, dear, but if you 
will come with me. Put on your slippers and 
dressing-gown. We do not need a candle. 
Now, Bertha, we will go down together. " 

Two little white patches moved vaguely 
through the darkness, the stairs creaked, the 
door whined, and they were at the front room 
window. Monica closed it gently down, and 
fastened the snib. 

"What a beautiful moon!" said she, looking 
out. "We en see as clearly as if it were day. 
How peaceful and quiet the three houses are 
over yonder! It seems quite sad to see that 
'To Let' card upon number one. I wonder 
how number two will like their going. For my 
part I could better spare that dreadful woman 
at number three with her short skirts and her 
snake. But, oh, Bertha, look! look!! look!!!** 
Her voice had fallen suddenly to a quivering 
whisper and she was pointing to the Westma- 
cotts' house. Her sister gave a gasp of horror, 
and stood with a clutch at Mgnica/s arm, star* 
ing in the same direction. 


There was a light in the front room, a slight, 
wavering light such as would be given by a 
small candle or taper. The blind was down, 
but the light shone dimly through. Outside 
in the garden, with his figure outlined against 
the luminous square, there stood a man, his 
back to the road, his two hands upon the win- 
dow ledge, and his body rather bent as though 
lie were trying to peep in past the blind. So 
absolutely still and motionless was he that in 
spite of the moon they might well have over- 
looked him were it not for that tell-tale light 

"Good heaven!" gasped Bertha, "it is a bur- 

But her sister set her mouth grimly and 
shook her head. "We shall see," she whis- 
pered. "It may be something worse. " 

Swiftly and furtively the man stood suddenly 
erect, and began to push the window slowly 
up. Then he put one knee upon the sash, 
glanced round to see that all was safe, and 
climbed over into the room. As he did so he 
had to push the blind aside. Then the two 
spectators saw where the light came from. Mrs. 
Westmacott was standing, as rigid as a statue, 
In the center of the room, with a lighted taper 
in her right hand. For an instant they caught 
a glimpse of her stern face and her white col- 
lar. Then the blind fell back into position, 


and the two figures disappeared fiom their 

"Oh, that dreadful woman!" cried Monica. 
"That dreadful, dreadful woman! She was 
waiting for him. You saw it with your own 
eyes, sister Bertha I" 

"Hush, dear, hush and listen!" said her more 
charitable companion. They pushed their own 
window up once more, and watched from behind 
the curtains. 

For a long time all was silent within the 
house. The light still stood motionless as 
though Mrs. Westmacott remained rigidly in 
the one position, while from time to time a 
shadow passed in front of it to show that her 
midnight visitor was pacing up and down in 
front of her. Once they saw his outline clearly, 
with his hands outstretched as if in appeal or 
entreaty. Then suddenly there was a dull 
sound, a cry, the noise of a fall, the taper was 
extinguished, and a dark figure fled in the 
moonlight, rushed across the garden, and van- 
ished amid the shrubs at the farther side. 

Then only did the two old ladies understand 
that they had looked on whilst a tragedy had 
been enacted. "Help!" they cried, and "Help!" 
in their high, thin voices, timidly at first, but 
gathering volume as they went on, until the 
Wilderness rang with their shrieks. Lights 
shone in all the windows opposite, chains rat- 


tied, bars were unshot, doors opened, and cut 
rushed friends to the rescue. Harold, with a 
stick; the Admiral, with his sword, his grey 
head and bare feet protruding from either end 
of a long brown ulster; finally, Doctor Walker, 
with a poker, all ran to the help of the West- 
macotts. Their door had been already opened, 
and they crowded tumultuously into the front 

Charles Westmacotr, white to his lips, was 
kneeling on the floor, supporting his aunt's 
head upon his knee. She lay outstretched, 
dressed in her ordinary clothes, the extinguished 
taper still grasped in her hand, no mark or 
Wound upon her — pale, placid, and senseless. 

"Thank God you are come, Doctor," said 
Charles, looking up. "Do tell me how she is, 
and what I should do." 

Doctor Walker kneeled beside her, and 
passed his left hand over her head, while he 
grasped her pulse with the right. 

"She has had a terrible blow," said he. "It 
must have been with some blunt weapon. Here 
is the place behind the ear. But she is a wom- 
an of extraordinary physical powers. Her pulse 
is full and slow. There is no stertor. It is my 
belief that she is merely stunned, and that she 
is in no danger at all." 

"Thank God for that!" 

"We must get her to bed. We shall carry 


her upstairs, and then I shall send my girls in 
to her. But who has done this?" 

"Some robber" said Charles. "You see that 
the window is open. She must have heard him 
and come down, for she was always perfectly 
fearless. I wish to goodness she had called me. " 
"But she was dressed." 
"Sometimes she sits up very late. " 
"I did sit up very late, " said a voice. She 
had opened her eyes, and was blinking at them 
in the lamplight. "A villain came in through 
the window and struck me with a life-preserver. 
You can tell the police so when they come. 
Also that it was a little fat man. Now, Charles, 
give me your arm and I shall go upstairs." 

But her spirit was greater than her strength, 
for, as she staggered to her feet, her head swam 
round, and she would have fallen again had her 
nephew not thrown his arms round her. They 
carried her upstairs among them and laid her 
upon the bed, where the Doctor watched be- 
side her, while Charles went off to the police- 
station, and the Denvers mounted guard over 
the frightened maids. 



Day had broken before the several denizens of 
the Wilderness had all returned to their homes, 
the police finished their inquiries, and all come 
back to its normal quiet. Mrs. Westmacott 
had been left sleeping peacefully with a small 
chloral draught to steady her nerves and a hand- 
kerchief soaked in arnica bound round her head. 
It was with some surprise, therefore, that the 
Admiral received a note from her about ten 
o'clock, asking him to be good enough to step 
in to her. He hurried in, fearing that she might 
have taken some turn for the worse, but he was 
reassured to find her sitting up in her bed, 
with Clara and Ida Walker in attendance upon 
her. She had removed the handkerchief, and 
had put on a little cap with pink ribbons, and 
a maroon dressing- jacket, daintily fulled at the 
neck and sleeves. 

"My dear friend," said she as he entered, "I 
wish to make a last few remarks to you. No, 
no," she continued, laughing, as she saw a look 
of dismay upon his face. "I shall not dream 
of dying for at least another thirty years. A 
woman should be ashamed to die before she is 
seventy. I wish, Clara, that you would ask 


your father to step up. And you, Ida, just pass 
me my cigarettes, and open me a bottle of 
stout. M 

"Now then," she continued, as the doctor 
joined their party. "I don't quite know what 
I ought to say to you, Admiral. You want some 
very plain speaking to." 

*"Pon my word, ma'am, I don't know what 
you are talking about." 

"The idea of you at your age talking of going 
to sea, and leaving that dear, patient little wife 
of yours at home, who has seen nothing of you 
all her life! It's all very well for you. You 
have the life, and the change, and the excite- 
ment, but you don't think of her eating her 
heart out in a dreary London lodging. You 
men are all the same." 

"Well, ma'am, since you know so much, you 
probably know also that I have sold my pen- 
sion. How am I to live if I do not turn my 
hand to work?" 

Mrs. Westmacott produced a large registered 
envelope from beneath the sheets and tossed it 
over to the old seaman. 

"That excuse won't do. There are your pen- 
sion papers. Just see if they are right." 

He broke the seal, and out tumbled the very 
papers which he had made over to McAdam 
two days before. 

"But what am I to do with these now?" he 
cried in bewilderment. 


"You will put them in a safe place, or get a 
friend to do so, and, if you do your duty, you 
will go to your wife and beg her pardon for 
having even for an instant thought of leaving 

The Admiral passed his hand over his rugged 
forehead. "This is very good of you, ma'am'* 
said he, "very good and kind, and I know that 
you are a staunch friend, but for all that these 
papers mean money, and though we may have 
been in broken water lately, we are not quite 
in such straits as to have to signal to our 
friends. When we do, ma'am, there's no one 
we would look to sooner than to you." 

"Don't be ridiculous!" said the widow. 
"You know nothing whatever about it, and yet 
you stand there laying down the law. I'll have 
my way in the matter, and you shall take the 
papers, for it is no favor that I am doing you, 
but simply a restoration of stolen property." 

"How that, ma'am?" 

"I am just going to explain, though you 
might take a lady's word for it without asking 
any questions. Now, what I am going to say 
is just between you four, and must go no farther. 
I have my own reasons for wishing to keep it 
from the police. Who do you think it was who 
struck me last night, Admiral?" 

"Some villain, ma'am. I don't know his 


"But I do. It was the same man who ruined 
©r tried to ruin your son. It was my only 
brother, Jeremiah." 


"I will tell you about him— or a little about 
him, for he has done much which I would not 
care to talk of, nor you to listen to. He was 
always a villain, smooth-spoken and plausible, 
but a dangerous, subtle villain all the same. 
If I have some hard thoughts about mankind 
I can trace them back to the childhood which 
I spent with my brother. He is my only living 
relative, for my other brother, Charles's father, 
was killed in the Indian mutiny. 

"Our father was rich, and when he died he 
made a good provision both for Jeremiah and 
for me. He knew Jeremiah and he mistrusted 
him, however; so instead of giving him all 
that he meant him to have he handed me over 
a part of it, telling me, with what was almost 
his dying breath, to hold it in trust for my 
brother, and to use it in his behalf when he 
should have squandered or lost all that he had. 
This arrangement was meant to be a secret be- 
tween my father and myself, but unfortunately 
his words were overheard by the nurse, ana 
she repeated them afterwards to my brother, 
so that he came to know that I held some 
money in trust for him. I suppose tobacco 
Will not harm my head, Doctor? Thank yon* 


then I shall trouble you for the matches, Ida." 
She lit a cigarette, and leaned back upon the 
pillow, with the blue wreaths curling from her 

"I cannot tell you how often he has attempted 
to get that money from me. He has bullied, 
cajoled, threatened, coaxed, done all that a 
man could do. I still held it with the presenti- 
ment that a need for it would come. When I 
heard of this villainous business, his flight, and 
his leaving his partner to face the storm, above 
all that my old friend had been driven to sur- 
render his income in order to make up for my 
brother's defalcations, I felt that now indeed 
I had a need for it. I sent in Charles yester- 
day to Mr. McAdam, and his client, upon 
hearing the facts of the case, very graciously 
consented to give back the papers, and to take 
the money which he had advanced. Not a 
word of thanks to me, Admiral. I tell you 
that it was very cheap benevolence, for it was 
all done with his own money, and how could I 
use it better? 

"I thought that I should probably hear from 
him soon, and I did. Last evening there was 
handed in a note of the usual whining, cringing 
tone. He had come back from abroad at the 
risk of his life and liberty, just in order that 
he might say good-bye to the only sister he ever 
had, and to entreat my forgiveness for Any 


pain which he had caused me. He would never 
trouble me again, and he begged only that I 
would hand over to him the sum which I held 
in trust for him. That, with what he had al- 
ready, would be enough to start him as an 
honest man in the new world, when he would 
ever remember and pray for the dear sister who 
had been his savior. That was the style of the 
letter, and it ended by imploring me to leave 
the window-latch open, and to be in the front 
room at three in the morning, when he would 
come to receive my last kiss and to bid me 

"Bad as he was, I could not, when he trusted 
me, betray him. I said nothing, but I was there 
at the hour. He entered through the window, 
and implored me to give him the money. He 
was terribly changed; gaunt, wolfish, and spoke 
like a madman. I told him that I had spent 
the money. He gnashed his teeth at me, and 
swore it was his money. I told him that I had 
spent it on him. He asked me how. I said 
in trying to make him an honest man, and in 
repairing the results of his villainy. He shrieked 
out a curse, and pulling something out of the 
breast of his coat — a loaded stick, I think — he 
Struck me with it, and I remembered nothing 
more. " 

"The blackguard t" cried the Doctor, "but the 
police must be hot upon his track,'* 


"I fancy not," Mrs. Westmacott answered 
calmly. "As my brother is a particularly tall, 
thin man, and as the police are looking for a 
short, fat one, I do not think that it is very 
probable that they will catch him. It is best, I 
think, that these little family matters should 
be adjusted in private." 

"My dear ma'am," said the Admiral, "if it is 
indeed this man's money that has bought back 
my pension, then I can have no scruples about 
taking it. You have brought sunshine upon 
us, ma'am, when the clouds were at their dark- 
est, for here is my boy who insists upon return- 
ing the money which I got. He can keep it 
now to pay his debts. For what you have done 
I can only ask God to bless you, ma'am, and 
as to thanking you I can't even " 

"Then pray don't try," said the widow. 
"Now run away, Admiral, and make your peace 
with Mrs. Denver. I am sure if I were she it 
would be a long time before I should forgive 
you. As for me, I am going to America when 
Charles goes. You'll take me so far, won't you, 
Ida? There is a college being built in Denver 
which is to equip the woman of the future for 
the struggle of life, and especially for her bat- 
tle against man. Some months ago the com- 
mittee offered me a responsible situation upon 
the staff, and I have decided now to accept it, 
for Charles's marriage removes the last tie which 


binds me to England. You will write to me 
sometimes, my friends, and you will address 
your letters to Professor Westmacott, Emancipa- 
tion College, Denver. From there I shall watch 
how the glorious struggle goes in conservative 
old England, and if I am needed you will find 
me here again fighting in the forefront of the 
fray. Good-bye — but not you, girls; I have still 
a word I wish to say to you. 

"'Give me your hand, Ida, and yours, Clara," 
said she when they were alone. "Oh, you 
naughty little pusses, aren't you ashamed to 
look me in the face? Did you think — did you 
really think that I was so very blind, and could 
not see your little plot? You did it very well, 
1 must say that, and really I think that I like 
you better as you are. But you had all your 
pains for nothing, you little conspirators, for 
I give you my word that I had quite made up 
my mind not to have him." 

And so within a few weeks our little ladies 
from their observatory saw a mighty bustle in 
the Wilderness, when two-horse carriages came, 
and coachmen with favors, to bear away the 
twos who were destined to come back one. 
And they themselves in their crackling silk 
dresses went across, as invited, to the big 
double wedding breakfast which was held in 
the house of Doctor Walker. Then there was 
health-drinking, and laughter, and changing of 


dresses, and rice-throwing when the carriages 
drove up again, and two more couples started 
on that journey which ends only with life itself. 
Charles Westmacott is now a flourishing 
ranchman in the western part of Texas, where 
he and his sweet little wife are the two most 
popular persons in all that county. Of their 
aunt they see little, but from time to time they 
see notices in the papers that there is a focus 
of light in Denver, where mighty thunderbolts 
are being forged which will one day bring the 
dominant sex upon their knees. The Admiral 
and his wife still live at number one, while 
Harold and Clara have taken number two, 
where Doctor Walker continues to reside. As 
to the business, it had been reconstructed, and 
the energy and ability of the junior partner had 
soon made up for all the ill that had been done 
by his senior. Yet with his sweet and refined 
home atmosphere he is able to realize his wish, 
and to keep himself free from the sordid aims 
and base ambitions which drag down the man 
whose business lies too exclusively in the money 
market of the vast Babylon. As he goes back 
every evening from the crowds of Throgmorton 
Street to the tree-lined peaceful avenues of Nor- 
wood, so he has found it possible in spirit also 
to do one's duties amidst the babel of the City, 
and yet to live beyond it. 


The Greatest Hit of the Season! 

Bits of Broken China 

By William E. S. Fales. 

A collection of fascinating novelettes dealing 
with life in New York's " Chinatown." 
The struggles and ambitions of the Chinaman 
in America, his loves and jealousies, his hopes 
and fears, his sorrows, his joys, these are the 
materials on which Mr. Fales has built his 

It is A NEW FIELD, and all the more inter- 
esting on that account. The author has 
made a life study of his subject ; and no one 
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lives the exiled Chinaman. 
" Bits of Broken China" has deservedly won 
the plaudits of press and people. It is the 
riost attractive volume on sale to-day. 

Bound in Cloth, Gold Top, 
Fully Illustrated, Price, 75c. 

^TI*e>:G}T €& SMITH 

K ® , w York o. n. oH I^ondoix 



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The Huguenot's Love* Translated by Richard Duffy. 
Five full-page illustrations. i2mo, 333 pages. Cloth 
binding. $1.25 

In this volume the gifted author gives a splendid picture of the 
religious strife which paralyzed all Europe in the middle of the 
seventeenth century. The two main characters are in religion ene- 
mies, but personally the dearest of friends. They are valiant French- 
men, who under the standard of Gustavus Adolphus, engaged in the 
immortal Thirty Years' War. Their sweethearts follow them in their 
expedition and incur some marvelous adventures. 

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Works by Henry Harland 

M*s* Peixada. urno, 317 pages. Cloth binding. /5c. 

The hero, a young lawyer Whose first case is the tracking of Mrs. 
Peixada, a charming woman of about twenty-three summers, accused 
of shooting her husband. The plot is as peculiar as that of "As It 
Was Written." The denouement is a thorough surprise 

Mademoiselle Miss, and other stories. 1 21110, 1 92 pages- 
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The title-story of the present volume, as well as those which follow 
it, shows the same clear insight into character, the same strength and 
delicacy of description, and the same faculty of individualizing the 
personages of the narrative, as are manifest in Mr. Har land's previous 

Mea Culpa — A Woman's Last Word. 1 2mo, 347 pages. 
Cloth binding. 75c. 

To save her father, a woman marries a European prince. It is a 
loveless marriage and the life is a bitter one. A former lover appears ; 
there is a duel ; the prince dies. Then, instead of marriage bells, there 
is the sadness of farewell. The lover feels himself a murderer and 
takes his own life in an agony of despair. 

The Yoke of the Thorah* i2mo, 320 pages. Cloth 
binding. 75c. 

Two lovers were to be married in the spring. That one was a Jew 
and the other a Christian didn't seem to matter. But the God of 
Israel intervenes through a venerable rabbi, and a struggle begins 
between hope and doubt. The story is taken up with the attempts of 
the lovers to come together and the plans of the elders to keep them 

As it Was Written — A Jewish Musician's Story. 1 2mo, 
252 pages. Cloth binding. 75c. 

"As It Was Written " is the confession of a man who, under peculiar 
circumstances, murders the woman he loves and then gives himself 
up to the punishment that the terrible crime demands. 

Gtandison Mather—An account of the fortunes of Mr. 
and Mrs. Thomas Gardner. i2mo, 338 pages. Cloth 
binding. 75c. 

The opening chapter gives a sunny picture of Tom's vacation in 
Paris, after finishing his college course, and his courtship of "Mrs. 
Tom." After many experiences Tom writes a successful novel and 
makes some money. The story is a simple every -day one throughout 
and is charmingly told. It is full of graphic pictures of New York life. 

A Latin-Quartet Courtship, and other stories. i2mo, 
269 pages. Cloth binding. 75c. 

The first story covers 190 pages, and is a charmingly told tale of 
life and love in Paris, in which the actors are an American woman 
doctor, her friend a young French girl, and an American author. The 
two latter, of course, fall in love with each other. 

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Handsomely bound in doth, stamped in colors 
Price, per volume, Fifty Cents 

Averil Rosa Nouchette Carey 

Bam Wildfire Helen B. Mathers 

Black Rock Ralph Connor 

Beatrice H* Rider Haggard 

Bondman, The Hall Caine 

Black Carnation, The Fergus Hume 

Cardinal Sin, A Hugh Conway 

Consequences Egerton Castle 

Cruise of the Cachelot, The . . Frank T* Bullen 

Dead Secret, The "Wilkie Collins 

Difficult Matter, A Mrs. Emily Lovett Cameron 

Doctor Jack St* George Rathborne 

Dugdale Millions, The Barclay North 

Facing the Footlights Florence Marryat 

Fatal Silence, A Florence Marryat 

Fever of Life, The Fergus Hume 

First Violin, The Jessie Fothergill 

Frozen Pirate, The "W* Clark Russell 

Gentleman from Gascony, A . Bicknell Dudley 
Heaps of Money W. E* Norris 

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Handsomely bound in cloth, stamped in colors 
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Heir of Linne, The Robert Buchanan 

Her Faithful Knight Gertrude Warden 

His Word of Honor E* Werner 

In the Golden Days Edna Lyall 

In the Roar of the Sea S* Baring Gould 

In Strange Company Guy Boothby 

Kidnapped Robert Louis Stevenson 

Little Cuban Rebel, The Edna Winfield 

Living or Dead • . . Hugh Conway 

Lorna Doone R. D. Blackmore 

Lucky Young Woman, A F. G Philips 

Man in Possession u Rita n 

Master of Ballantrae, The- . ■ Robert Louis Stevenson 

Master of the Mine, The Robert Buchanan 

Miss Kate "Rita" 

Mr, Meeson's Will H* Rider Haggard 

Nobler Sex, The Florence Marryat 

Of the World, Worldly Mrs. Forrester 

Perilous Secret, A Charles Reade 

Price He Paid, The E, Werner 

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Ralph Ry der of Brent Florence Warden 

She Fell in Love With Her 

Husband E* Werner 

Should She Have Left Him?. -Barclay North 

Splendid Spur, The "Q" A,T* Quiller Couch 

Stormy Wedding, A Mary E. Bryan 

That Beautiful Wretch William Black 

Thelma Marie Corelli 

Those Girls John Strang-e Winter 

Treasure Island Robert Louis Stevenson 

True To Herself Mrs. J, H, Walforth 

Uncle Tom's Cabin Harriet Beecher Stowe 

Under Two Flags "Ouida" 

Wedding Ringf, The Robert Buchanan 

Wee Wifie Rosa Nouchette Carey 

White Company, The A* Conan Doyle 

We Two Edna Lyall 

Won by Waiting Edna Lyall 

Wormwood Marie Corelli 

Yale Man, A * Robert Lee Tyler 

Young Mrs. Jardine Miss Mulock 

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The Rockspur Athletic Series 


The series consists of three books, each being a good clean story of 
athletic training, sports and contests, such as interest every healthy, 
growing boy of to-day. 

While aiming to avoid the extravagant and sensational, the stories 
contain enough thrilling incidents to please the lad who loves actio r, 
and adventure. From the beginning, The Boys of Rockspur work step 
by step toward the grand consummation of their desires, the building 
and fitting of a club house and gymnasium, a result that is finally 
accomplished ; but, in the meantime, they have many trials, jeal- 
ousies, heartburnings and defeats, enemies and traitors in their own 
ranks, making the struggle harder and the victory sweeter. The 
description of their Baseball and Football Games and other contests 
with rival clubs and teams make very exciting and absorbing reading ; 
and few boys with warm blood in their veins, having once begun the 
perusal of one of these books, will willingly lay it down till it is 

J— The Rockspur Nine. A story of Baseball. 
2 — The Rockspur Eleven. A Story of Football. 
3— The Rockspur Rivals. A Story of Winter Sports. 
Each volume contains about 300 pages, i2mo in 
size, cloth binding, per volume, $1.00 



For a great number of years Frank Merriwell has been a name to 
conjure with among the boys of America. Frank, with his chums, 
has been deservedly popular, but his adventures and achievement* 
have never before been published in book form. It was in response 
to a clamorous demand for the Frank Merriwell stories in this form 
that this series was prepared. These are unique among boys' books ; 
indeed, so filled are they with incident and action of every kind that 
it would be impossible to give here any adequate idea of what they 
contain. Frank Merriwell was no ordinary boy, and it falls to the lot 
of very few fellows to have as much fun and strenuousness crowded 
into his school life as will be found in this all-absorbing history. 

The first titles in the series are : 

Frank Merriwell's School Days. Illustrated. i2mo, 
302 pages. Cloth binding. $1.00 

Frank Merriwell's Chums. Illustrated. 121110,302 pages. 
Cloth binding. (In press.) $1.00 

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The Boys' Own Library 

Handsomely Bound in Cloth. Price, 75 cents per Volume 

This series contains the best boys' books written by the best authors 
for boys. It is pre-eminently a library for young people. The stories are 
of the bright and sparkling kind, full of adventure and not overburdened 
with lengthy descriptions — in fact, just the sort that must appeal to every 
healthy boy who is fond of thrilling exploits and deeds of heroism. 

Adventures of a Telegraph Boy. Horatio Alger, Jr. 

Arthur Helmuth. Edward S. Ellis 

Battle and a Boy. Blanche Willis Howard 

Boy Boomers. Gilbert Patten 

Boy Cattle King. Gilbert Patten 

Boy From the West. Gilbert Patten 

Boys in the Forecastle. George H. Coomer 

Butcher of Cawnpore. Wm. Murray Gray don 

Cadet Kit Carey. Lieut. Lounsberry 

Captain Carey. Lieut. Lounsberry 

Centreboard Jim. Henry Harrison Lewis 

Chased Through Norway. James Otis 

Check Number 2J34. Edward S. Ellis 

Commodore Junk. George Manville Fenn 

Cruise of the Snowbird. Gordon Stables 

Cryptogram. William Murray Graydon 

Catmur's Cave. Richard Dowling 

Dean Dunham. Horatio Alger, Jr. 

Dick Chiverly. W. H. G. Kingston 

Dingo Boys. George Manville Fenn 

Don Kirk's Mine. Gilbert Patten 

Ensign Merrill. Henry Harrison Lewis 

Eric Dane. Matthew White, Jr. 

Erie Train Boy. Horatio Alger, Jr. 

Five Hundred Dollar Check. Horatio Alger, Jr. 

From Canal Boy to President. Horatio Alger, Jr. 

From Farm Boy to Senator. Horatio Alger, Jr. 

From Lake to Wilderness. William Murray Graydon 

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